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Ginot, E. (1997). The Analyst's Use of Self, Self-Disclosure, and Enhanced Integration. Psychoanal. Psychol., 14(3):365-381.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 14(3):365-381

The Analyst's Use of Self, Self-Disclosure, and Enhanced Integration

Efrat Ginot, Ph.D.

Self-disclosure of countertransferential feelings is explored as a powerful analytic process that can provide the patient with the unique opportunity to encounter, experience, and negotiate dissociated aspects of the self. A nonlinear model of the self composed of multiple self-states, possessing various degrees of consciousness or association to an aware “me” (Bromberg, 1994), is used to suggest how dissociated self-states are expressed and experienced within the analytic dyad. Recent views regarding the self are integrated with the role of projective identification and enactments as unconscious communicators of the disowned. A relation between the unconsciously communicated self-states and the analyst's intersubjective ways of “knowing” them is proposed, and emphasis is placed on the contribution that the analyst's self-disclosure may have for the patient's struggle to integrate unconscious aspects of the self. Two detailed descriptions of analytic processes involving self-disclosure as well as a discussion of the potential drawbacks of its use are presented. An integral outgrowth of the intersubjective experience, self-disclosure is explicated as a means to initiate a meaningful and authentic exploration resulting in the patient's enhanced accessibility to dissociated self-states.

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