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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Gabbard, G.O. (1989). On 'Doing Nothing' in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of the Refractory Borderline Patient. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:527-534.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:527-534

On 'Doing Nothing' in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of the Refractory Borderline Patient

Glen O. Gabbard


In the course of analytic work with refractory borderline patients, the analyst will experience protracted periods of silence. The analyst's verbal interventions are likely to fall on deaf ears and produce little change in the stalemate. The analyst may then need to resort to silent processing of the projective identification process transpiring between patient and analyst and use it to inform the manner in which he functions with the patient. In this paper I have dissected out six active components of these phases of analysis where the analyst may appear to be doing nothing.

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