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Warnes, H. (1979). Parameter of Technique & EGO Modification: Abstract of a Seminar. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 2(1):83-88.

(1979). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 2(1):83-88

Parameter of Technique & EGO Modification: Abstract of a Seminar

Hector Warnes, M.D.

The widening application of the psychoanalytic method to delinquents, psychotics and borderline personality organization has introduced changes of the basic technique to overcome the initial impasse in establishing a therapeutic alliance and averting a more severe regression of ego functions. Apart from the techniques introduced by Reich for dealing with character “armouring”, by Freud and others advising and encouraging the patient to face the phobogenic situation, establishing a fixed time for termination, manipulating the frequency of the interviews (Alexander), regulating, controlling and manipulating the development of the transference (Alexander) and taking a rather omniscient stand and using transference interpretations from the start (Klein) etc., there are exceptions to the basic rules to be applied judiciously in the first three clinical conditions cited above. The core problem is “to secure the best possible psychological conditions for the functions of the ego” (Freud, 1937). There is consensus that ego modification (Verrenkung) or deformation (Einschränkung) as measured by ego strength (anxiety-tolerance, impulse control, sublimatory channelling and emergence of primary process), object constancy and relationships and the presence of primitive defences justify the introduction of parameters of technique. Eissler clarified for us when it is advisable to deviate from the basic model technique:

1.   When the basic model technique does not suffice.

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