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De Bianchedi, E.T. (1991). Psychic Change: The 'Becoming' of an Inquiry. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 72:6-15.

(1991). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 72:6-15

Psychic Change: The 'Becoming' of an Inquiry

Elizabeth T. De Bianchedi

The objective of psychoanalysis is psychic change. It is a constant factor in our work and its realization can be found in practically all treatments, publications and training programmes for new psychoanalysts. It is also always included in the expansive field of the many different schools of psychoanalysis and of other disciplines partly derived from it. Its inclusion may be explicit, in the therapeutic goals and criteria of cure, or implicitly contained, in a task designed to promote either insight and working through, development and integration, the recovery or acquisition of psychic functions, etc. It has also been—and still is—included in the aims of masters, educators, shamans, Zen Buddhists and (in the past) alchemists and others, albeit employing rather different techniques to achieve it. Psychoanalysis seems to have more than venerable antecedents in the history of mankind, although a genius like Freud was necessary to discover it, name it and investigate its meaning—in other words, to put it into scientific and hence rationally communicable terms. After almost a century of Freud's first discoveries, these 'scientific', 'rationally communicable' terms have also undergone major developments and changes.

The word 'change' has a large number of synonyms and a variety of applications: transformation, evolution, mutation, metamorphosis, becoming, alteration, variation. It is contrasted with ideas of 'no-change', detention, immutability, permanence and invariability.

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