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Levin, F.M. Kent, E.W. (1995). Psychoanalysis and Knowledge: Part 2. The Special Relationship Between Psychoanalytic Transference, Similarity Judgment, and the Priming of Memory. Ann. Psychoanal., 23:117-130.

(1995). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 23:117-130

Psychoanalysis and Knowledge: Part 2. The Special Relationship Between Psychoanalytic Transference, Similarity Judgment, and the Priming of Memory

Fred M. Levin, M.D. and Ernest W. Kent, Ph.D.

Humans create databases from experience that they deepen and enlarge over time. It is the product of this deepening and enlarging process that we call knowledge. Knowledge keeps us safe from danger and enhances our chances of reaching wished-for goals. Of course, some knowledge is wrong in that it leads to faulty conclusions or unsuccessful adaptation. For example, how much of the content of this essay is correct may be difficult to say at this time. This last observation points out the importance of continually testing and therefore updating our knowledge bases.

Within the psychoanalytic situation the analyst and patient engage the patient's complexity, experiencing together crucial countertransference and transference states that become a major object of their study. Over the years psychoanalysts have learned how to tap this vital, conscious and unconscious dialectical stream of information about feeling states, behavior, and cognitive patterning. The resulting self-knowledge and working through of feelings greatly facilitate the mastery of conflict and emotional growth by means of updating and improving the key knowledge bases upon which our adaptive skills depend.

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