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Basch, M.F. (1991). The Significance Of A Theory Of Affect For Psychoanalytic Technique. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 39S(Supplement):291-304.

(1991). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 39S(Supplement):291-304

The Significance Of A Theory Of Affect For Psychoanalytic Technique

Michael Franz Basch, M.D.

Although Freud was very much aware of the centrality of affect for psychoanalytic treatment and cure, his confusion of neurotic with normal development led to a metatheory that has limited the flexible use of affect in psychoanalytic technique. This essay, using both a clinical example and a summary of the pertinent literature, seeks to demonstrate the advantage of an explanatory or metatheory based on both the power of information (rather than on psychic energy) and on an understanding of what recent research in normal development, especially insofar as it relates to affect, has taught us. Such a theory will lead to an expansion of psychoanalytic technique that does no violence to Freud's clinical findings while expanding the efficacy and applicability of the psychoanalytic method.

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