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Wegner, P. (2014). Process-Orientated Psychoanalytic Work in Initial Interviews and the Importance of the Opening Scene. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(3):505-523.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(3):505-523

Process-Orientated Psychoanalytic Work in Initial Interviews and the Importance of the Opening Scene Language Translation

Peter Wegner

(Accepted for publication 30 July 2013)

From the very first moment of the initial interview to the end of a long course of psychoanalysis, the unconscious exchange between analysand and analyst, and the analysis of the relationship between transference and countertransference, are at the heart of psychoanalytic work. Drawing on initial interviews with a psychosomatically and depressively ill student, a psychoanalytic understanding of initial encounters is worked out. The opening scene of the first interview already condenses the central psychopathology - a clinging to the primary object because it was never securely experienced as present by the patient. The author outlines the development of some psychoanalytic theories concerning the initial interview and demonstrates their specific importance as background knowledge for the clinical situation in the following domains: the ‘diagnostic position’, the ‘therapeutic position’, the ‘opening scene’, the ‘countertransference’ and the ‘analyst's free-floating introspectiveness’

More recent investigations refer to ‘process qualities’ of the analytic relationship, such as ‘synchronization’ and ‘self-efficacy’. The latter seeks to describe after how much time between the interview sessions constructive or destructive inner processes gain ground in the patient and what significance this may have for the decision about the treatment that follows. All these factors combined can lead to establishing a differential process-orientated indication that also takes account of the fact that being confronted with the fear of unconscious processes of exchange is specific to the psychoanalytic profession.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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