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Blum, H.P. (1989). The Concept of Termination and the Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thought. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:275-295.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:275-295

The Concept of Termination and the Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thought

Harold P. Blum, M.D.


Termination is a post-Freud contribution to the psychoanalytic process, which is never complete. The concept is illuminated in its analytic history and development. A formal well-defined terminal phase led to a tripartite psychoanalytic process which derived from and contributed to advances in psychoanalytic theory and knowledge. The terminal phase is a valuable addition and conclusion, but may be invested with irrational expectation and analytic myth. Various features and formulations of the terminal phase are explored, and the limitations of termination are noted.

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