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Waska, R. (2011). The Limits of Our Value and the Value of Our Limits: Looking at What We Can Offer the More Turbulent Patient and Why That May Be Enough. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 34(2):108-116.

(2011). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 34(2):108-116

The Limits of Our Value and the Value of Our Limits: Looking at What We Can Offer the More Turbulent Patient and Why That May Be Enough

Robert Waska, MFT, Ph.D.

Using case material, the author explores psychoanalytic treatments in which troubled patients are helped to access, understand, and modify their internal object relational conflicts. However, these patients often abort treatment early on or exit after a lengthy stay in a manner that speaks to their remaining repetitive pathology. This paper argues that the modern psychoanalyst encounters many cases of rigid, turbulent, and slow to thaw individuals who show considerable intrapsychic progress paralleled by external improvements after either a short stay or a long period of analytic work. However, these same patients also tend to leave abruptly or simply fade away without a sense of great accomplishment or a marked transition into a new way of being. The author seeks to understand these particular cases as inevitable works in progress that show transformation, but also remain in partial embrace with the old, the familiar, and the destructive.

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