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Horowitz, M.J. (2009). Value Reprioritization in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(6):1361-1377.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(6):1361-1377

Value Reprioritization in Psychoanalysis

Mardi J. Horowitz

As psychoanalysts, we sometimes seem to regard values as radioactive materials that must be handled with heavy lead gloves. But the gloves should not be so thick that they interfere with the goal of sorting out values. Reasons for our hesitation to deal with issues related to values may include real disagreements with the morals of a patient, a fear of evoking unproductive and negative emotional states, and our own unresolved conflicts about value dilemmas. Psychoanalytic technique should at times include clear verbal statements of values. By being explicit about what is often implicit, we can help our patients in their work of ameliorating harsh, primitive, and critical attitudes and to self-own rules, principles, and codes of conduct. A patient with reprioritized personal values may then function with heightened interpersonal compassion, kindness, and cooperation, gaining in return love, intimacy, respect, and self-esteem.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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