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Colarusso, C.A. (2006). The Absence of A Future: The Effect of Past Experience and Current Developmental Conflicts on a Midlife Analysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 54(3):919-943.

(2006). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 54(3):919-943

The Absence of A Future: The Effect of Past Experience and Current Developmental Conflicts on a Midlife Analysis

Calvin A. Colarusso

The four-year analysis of Mr. T., a highly intelligent, successful professional who entered analysis primarily because of a depression is presented; he had had no previous therapeutic experience but was very curious about analysis. The analytic work led to the discovery of a deeply held unconscious conviction of premature death that was related to interaction among the effects of a traumatic parental divorce during childhood, estrangement from both parents prior to their deaths, and signs of aging and illness in midlife. Before this analytic work the patient was unable to conceptualize, let alone plan for, late-life developmental experiences such as retirement and grandparenthood. Transference-countertransference themes are discussed, as is the importance of an understanding of midlife developmental concepts to successful analytic work with patients in this age group.

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