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Schechter, M. (2007). The Patient'S Experience of Validation in Psychoanalytic Treatment. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 55(1):105-130.

(2007). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 55(1):105-130

The Patient'S Experience of Validation in Psychoanalytic Treatment

Mark Schechter

The importance of the patient's experience of validation is not a new one in psychoanalytic thinking, and can be traced throughout the literature. However, its role as an essential aspect of the psychoanalytic process, particularly in working with intrapsychic conflict, has traditionally been underappreciated. It is argued that validating interventions have an important role in psychoanalytic treatment, and that they often serve to open up, rather than foreclose, the analysis of transference. Marsha Linehan's conceptualization of the role of validation in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy provides a unifying framework for a more extensive psychoanalytic consideration of validation. After a review of the psychoanalytic literature, a number of conceptual issues are discussed that have complicated thinking about validation from a psychoanalytic perspective. Two clinical examples are presented, one from the author's psychoanalytic practice and one from his own analysis. Both illustrate how active validation by the analyst can play an essential facilitating role in the psychoanalytic process.

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