Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To keep track of most popular articles…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can always keep track of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP Web by checking the PEP tab found on the homepage.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Hoffmann, J. (1997). The psychoanalyst as frame. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 20(2):232-237.

(1997). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 20(2):232-237

The psychoanalyst as frame

Jill Hoffmann

Every limit is a temptation to transgress the limit. Man shuns confinement and restriction. He wants to go beyond the given and is ceaselessly striving to know more and to have more. At the same time, he looks for the safety and haven that limits can offer.

In my contribution, I will approach different kinds of limits that we encounter in analytical work. Some limits are apparent; like the closed door of the consultant room, they are conditions of confidentiality and symbols of abstention as well as closeness. Other limits can neither be touched nor seen, but they are as real and as essential to the analysand's sense of security and to the analytical process. The analyst's integrity and her own limits as a human being as well as in her professional commitment, belong here; we may speak about the ability to maintain a space of one's own, protected from intrusions, and to win the freedom to act responsibly in accordance with one's own judgment.

“If I do not know my own limits, I may unknowingly transgress any limits”. These are the words of a black woman, a former prime minister of the Netherlands Antilles, at a conference attended by women in leading positions from all over the world. She dealt with the need for integrity, and I remember her words because they seemed to correspond with my own reflections on the psychoanalytic framework. “If I do not know my own limits, I may unknowingly transgress any limits”. Or you could say: if I have made the psychoanalytic frames and their meaning clear to myself, reflected on their application and made them my own, then — but only then will I be able to work genuinely in relation to them.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.