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Carrere, R.A. (2008). Reflections on Psychoanalysis Conducted as a Talking Cure. Contemp. Psychoanal., 44(3):400-418.

(2008). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 44(3):400-418

Reflections on Psychoanalysis Conducted as a Talking Cure

Robert A. Carrere, Ph.D., ABPP

This paper describes an approach to psychoanalysis conducted as a “talking cure” whereby the analyst privileges the patient's maturational capacity for speaking about experience. An optimal analytic process becomes a method of exploration and investigation through inquiry rather than interpretation. Interpretations facilitate talking, particularly those thoughts and feelings that are unwanted and unbidden. Accordingly, the analyst's chief concern is the resolution of resistances to speaking in contrast to an effort that aims to resolve resistances to insight or understanding. Insight, when it occurs, is a result of the change process and one's burgeoning capacity for talking with another who is interested in understanding. In this way making the unconscious conscious is worked through progressive speech and the enrichment of experience that results. Complementary to this effort is the analyst's subjective reflection on and use of countertransference states. Several features of the analytic process are described and elaborated: the centrality of the patient's voice, the value and function of inquiry, the analyst's crucial function as the sentient other for the patient's unconscious processes, and the leverage provided by the analyst's living into the transference experientially accompanied by personal acts of emotional freedom. A case example is provided to illustrate this approach.

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