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Aaron, R. (1974). The Analyst's Emotional Life During Work. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:160-169.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:160-169

The Analyst's Emotional Life During Work

Ruth Aaron, M.D.

The Chairman, Douglass Orr, in his introductory remarks mentioned earlier papers on this subject, including Maxwell Gitelson's "The Emotional Position of the Analyst in the Psychoanalytic Situation," Clark Maloney's "The Analyst Remains Silent," and Anna Maenchen's "Some Remarks on the Psychology of the Analyst."

The first speaker, Marian Tolpin, addressed herself to the subject within the framework of listening to riddles. The analyst's mode of experiencing his inner life in the course of work can uncover psychological riddles, shed new light on familiar phenomena, and generate new ideas for investigation. She sees his work of understanding his emotional reactions as having a facilitating effect on psychoanalytic research.

The fact that self-observation played the critical role in Freud's work of discovery makes it surprising that self-observation is rarely discussed as a data-gathering tool.

How do patients acquire a capacity for self-analytic work during treatment? The assumption that future analysts acquire capacities they need to do analytic work by identification with their analysts does not precisely explain the nature of the identification or of the psychic work necessary to build new ego functions which help form a "work ego."

Tolpin became aware that a particular transference configuration that fostered the growth of a patient's capacity to understand himself analytically posed a riddle, and that she was unable to solve the riddle until she understood the emotional reactions evoked in her. During the termination phase of his treatment, he seemed to go on from where the analyst left off in understanding the transference neurosis.

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