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Beiser, H.R. (1984). An Example of Self-Analysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 32:3-12.

(1984). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 32:3-12

An Example of Self-Analysis

Helen R. Beiser, M.D.


The literature on self-analysis indicates that it is a desirable process to cultivate postanalytically for continued self-growth, analyzing countertransference problems, and dealing with symptoms or problems of living that might arise after formal analysis is completed. A number of techniques are described, the choice of which is probably dependent on the personality of the individual who wishes to pursue self-analysis.

I describe an episode of self-analysis occurring near the end of the analysis of a woman who aroused in me an unusual degree of positive feeling, at least part of which can be considered

countertransference. After she had aroused negative feelings in me, she was able to deal in an affectful way with strongly repressed impulses, actually acted out in early childhood, to steal from her mother. This stimulated dreams in me that allowed me to work out guilt for hostility to my mother. A dream representing stealing her purse altered long-standing compulsive thoughts I had known meant guilt to my mother. The self-analysis was not undertaken to deal with a countertransference problem, but arose out of it to deal with a symptom, or old conflict, 25 years after the completion of formal analysis.

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