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Stänicke, E. (2011). Different Ways of Moving Ahead after Analysis: Changes in Experiential Dimensions. Psychoanal. Psychol., 28(2):229-246.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(2):229-246

Different Ways of Moving Ahead after Analysis: Changes in Experiential Dimensions

Erik Stänicke, Ph.D.

Within research on psychoanalysis, the common model of analytic change conceptualizes it as structural reorganization and development of self-analytic function. The present article takes as its point of departure analytic patients who, in follow-up interviews, do not present their experience of change according to this common model. Instead of categorizing analysands as being either successful or unsuccessful cases, the article aims to develop concepts of change that pertain to the experiential domain. Themes in the self experience of three former patients are explored. The data is gathered through follow-up interviews. The interviews were conducted with an analytic approach, which provides data on transference themes. Data from the interviews is not intended to provide empirical support for outcomes, but provides material from which concepts of change can be explored and discussed. The three cases illustrate three distinct psychic dimensions: safety, meaningfulness and sameness. All the cases have in common that they show, as described by Modell (1990), a containing transference in the follow-up interviews. Based on the postulated dimensions of self-experience, and with the view that containing transference is a common theme, it is further argued that, despite showing object-dependency, these informants have undergone an experiential change that is of existential significance. This is a kind of change that, it may be argued, is beyond a structural one; one that may be conceptualized as a precondition for the kind of change assumed by the main analytic model. To develop a self-analytic function, the patient may first need to develop a containing one.

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