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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Sorter, D. (1995). Therapeutic Action and Procedural Knowledge A Case Study. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(1):65-70.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(1):65-70

Therapeutic Action and Procedural Knowledge A Case Study

Dorienne Sorter, Ph.D.

Two types of memory processes, declarative and non-declarative have been identified by cognitive scientists. Cognitive science is currently making a distinction between 1) declarative memory and non-declarative memory. This paper is concerned with one type of non-declarative memory, procedural memory. Declarative knowledge refers to the things we know such as names, places, dates. Procedural knowledge is information associated with a highly practiced schema or action which is usually not conscious when the sequence is activated. The implications of procedural knowledge for psychoanalytic treatment are now beginning to be explored. This paper is a further step in this exploration.

It has been hypothesized that because of the automaticity of learned procedures underlying character pathology, character change can best be accomplished by intervening at the procedural level. This paper suggests that such interventions are optimal when they are noninterpretive and occur within the context of an interactive, mutually regulated, dyadic system. Procedures, when they become accessible to the analyst through empathy and introspection, can be, and in the case discussed below, were addressed within the context of the dyad. The psychotherapy of an adult man with difficulties at the procedural level is utilized to illustrate the importance of noninterpretive interventions that address the procedure in order to engage it in the dyad where it can begin to undergo therapeutic transformation. This paper illustrates the importance of understanding procedural knowledge and how this can provide a valuable additional tool to shape the modes of therapeutic action utilized in psychoanalytic treatment.

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