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Giovacchini, P.L. (1961). Resistance and External Object Relations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 42:246-254.

(1961). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 42:246-254

Resistance and External Object Relations

Peter L. Giovacchini

Understanding of the subtleties of emotionally meaningful object relationships has become, in certain cases, an integral part of the psycho-analytic exploration and resolution of resistances. The object relationships alluded to here have been described in a previous paper (9) and were found to be characterized by a high degree of mutual dependence. The interaction of two emotionally involved persons was found to be a complex phenomenon in which were revealed many basic similarities of character structure, defences, and conflicts. The defences of two individuals were seen to complement each other in many such instances.

In this study I wish to utilize some of the theoretical constructions that were formulated regarding the similarity of character structure in two individuals who have an emotionally meaningful relationship and to apply these constructions to the therapeutic field. In other words, I hope to demonstrate that extended insight about the dynamics of an object relationship can have pragmatic utility in the specific psycho-analytic situation.

Freud (5) first described a concept of resistance in one of his earliest papers. His early attempts to get patients to associate freely consisted in placing his index finger on their forehead and asking them to tell whatever came to mind in connexion with the onset of symptoms. The first two or three times he did this the patients stated that nothing occurred. Finally, they admitted that they had had some thoughts even the first time they were asked to speak, but felt these thoughts were inconsequential or trivial, so they did not verbalize them.

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