Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To share an article on social media…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you find an article or content on PEP-Web interesting, you can share it with others using the Social Media Button at the bottom of every page.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Finn, M.G. Sperling, M.B. (1993). Therapists' Representations of Psychotherapy—Special Patients. Contemp. Psychoanal., 29:343-351.

(1993). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 29:343-351

Therapists' Representations of Psychotherapy—Special Patients

Mark G. Finn, Ph.D. and Michael B. Sperling, Ph.D.

THE HISTORY OF MODERN DYNAMIC psychotherapy has been characterized by an unceasing evolution in the language of theory and technique. One of the sub-texts of this history is the story of how particular therapists working with particular patients came to creative understandings that have become the texts of our field. Some of these pivotal patients are themselves part of the story of psychotherapy; none more so than Freud's patients. Anna O. and Dora have become objects of scholarly interest almost unto themselves. More recently, Kohut (1979) has described the paradigmatic change in his work in his two analyses of Mr. Z. from a classical analytic to a self psychological point of view. Semrad said that the patient was the only text a young therapist needed to read (Rako & Mazer, 1979). It is the thesis of this paper that, on a significantly less epoch-making level, every therapist has patients who come to be the reference points in their development as clinicians. It is these patients that one may experience as particularly "special" because the work with them is incorporated within and facilitates changes in the therapist's representational model of psychotherapy.

This incorporative dynamic within the therapist may be understood as similar to that characterized by Bowlby (1969) in his discussion of "internal working models, " or mental representations, of attachment. Such models are further defined by Main, Kaplan and Cassidy (1985) as "a set of conscious and/or unconscious rules for the organization of information relevant to attachment and for obtaining or limiting access to that information" (pp. 66–67).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.