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Steiner, J. (1996). The Aim Of Psychoanalysis In Theory And In Practice. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:1073-1083.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:1073-1083

The Aim Of Psychoanalysis In Theory And In Practice

John Steiner

The aims of psychoanalysis are reviewed in terms of theories of mental function and structure. The theory of mental conflict remains the central theory of classical psychoanalysis but has been deepened and supplemented by newer theories. In particular the theory of projective identification has radically altered our view of mental structure and function and has allowed us to reformulate the aims of psychoanalysis in terms of the re-acquisition and re-integration of projected parts of the self. The central role of mourning in this process is discussed, and some of the obstacles to progress are reviewed. It is suggested that oedipal resentments may play a central role in the creation of impasse.

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