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Kernberg, O.F. (1994). Validation in the Clinical Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:1193-1200.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:1193-1200

Validation in the Clinical Process

Otto F. Kernberg


The combined analysis of the predominant themes, (a) in the patient's communication of his subjective experience, (b) in the patient's nonverbal behaviour and linguistic style, and in (c) the countertransference, provide indications for the main focus of the analyst's interpretive work, as well as potential evidence, in the corresponding changes in those three areas, of confirmatory or disconfirmatory aspects of the patient's reaction to the interpretation, thus providing the material for validation of the interpretation in the analyst's mind. Exploring a patient's responses to his interpretive interventions in the light of these criteria permitted the author to validate one interpretation at a 'right level in the right moment', to discard other interventions as too superficial, and to characterise one interpretation as probably premature.

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