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Tähkä, V. (2006). The Nature and Mediation of Understanding in Psychoanalytic Interaction. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 29(2):81-92.

(2006). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 29(2):81-92

The Nature and Mediation of Understanding in Psychoanalytic Interaction

Veikko Tähkä, M.D., Ph.D.

This presentation is based on the theory, presented by the author, of the development of the mind and its psychoanalytic treatment as a stage-specific continuum, applicable in principle to all levels of disturbed and arrested mental development. This paper focuses on the nature of attainment and mediation of understanding with psychotic, borderline and neurotic patients, and the significance of successful conveyance of understanding as related to the general goal of psychoanalysis, to achievement of a structural change in the analysand's representational world and, finally, to the question of the main curative factor in psychoanalytic treatment. After discussing all these questions, the author ends up giving the conveyance of stage-specific and individual understanding a central place in all of them. The goals of understanding and psychoanalysis in general seem to be more-or-less identical. Starting and continuing new structuring internalizations in the patient's world of experience is primarily motivated by conveyance of the analyst's stage-specific and individual understanding, and thereby leading to alleviation or elimination of consequences of the developmental arrest. It seems thus warranted to conclude that conveyance of the stage-specific and individual understanding seems to be the central curative element in the psychoanalytic interaction.

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