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Schachter, J. Kächele, H. (2013). An Alternative Conception of Termination and Follow-up. Psychoanal. Rev., 100(3):423-452.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Review, 100(3):423-452

An Alternative Conception of Termination and Follow-up

Joseph Schachter, M.D., Ph.D. and Horst Kächele, M.D., Ph.D.

Traditional psychoanalytic theory prescribes total patient-analyst separation after termination to facilitate mourning the loss of the analyst. This paper provides a rationale derived from contemporary (especially relational/interpersonal) theory for an alternative conception of termination and follow-up based on the central role of the analyst as a real person involved in a mutually caring patient-analyst relationship. Patient-analyst follow-up may provide numerous positive benefits: The patient may reexperience the analyst's caring, may reinvigorate helpful introjections of the analyst, and may have additional opportunity to deal with unresolved idealization of the analyst. The analyst may learn about the patient's unpredictable, inevitable post-termination changes, positive and negative, and improve his or her understanding of the course and outcome of treatment.

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