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Lachmann, F.M. Lichtenberg, J. (1992). Model Scenes: Implications for Psychoanalytic Treatment. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:117-137.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:117-137

Model Scenes: Implications for Psychoanalytic Treatment

Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D. and Joseph Lichtenberg, M.D.


Model scenes are constructed by analyst and patient to organize puzzling information, integrate previous understanding, and initiate further exploration of experience. They are derived from a variety of sources: literature (oedipal myth); transference; ordinary or traumatic childhood events that occupy a pivotal position. Model scenes may conceptualize experiences of any age and motivational system, and are contrasted with screen memories and "telescoping" of events.

Two clinical examples are used to illustrate the relation between the model scene and the transference. Model scenes provide a valuable clinical tool for moving from general to specific experience. They afford empathic entry into the transference experience and the opportunity through which the experience of motivations representative of past and present can be conceptualized and integrated into a cohesive self organization.

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