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Kantrowitz, J.L. (1999). The Role of the Preconscious in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(1):65-89.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(1):65-89

The Role of the Preconscious in Psychoanalysis

Judy L. Kantrowitz

The analytic process inevitably involves the interdigitation of the intrapsychic structures of both patient and analyst. This interplay is expressed in transference-countertransference interactions. Drawing a dichotomy between intrapsychic and interpersonal factors as central agents of psychic change is a faulty construction. Affective, behavioral interchanges between patient and analyst reflect their individual intrapsychic organizations and their interplay, which influence the form and nature of psychological change. The safer both patient and analyst feel in relation to each other, the more freely will they relax their customary cognitive controls and permit the emergence of preconscious responses. Preconscious resonance between patient and analyst is likely to facilitate the lifting of repressive barriers and the emergence of unconscious material in both participants. The integration and reworking of old conflicts then becomes possible. The role of the preconscious in facilitating the analytic process is illustrated. Creative use of preconscious processes requires the analyst's self-discipline to preserve the analytic role and keep the treatment safe for both participants.

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