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Galatzer-Levy, R.M. (2016). The Edge of Chaos: A Nonlinear View of Psychoanalytic Technique. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):409-427.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):409-427

Interdisciplinary Studies

The Edge of Chaos: A Nonlinear View of Psychoanalytic Technique

Robert M. Galatzer-Levy

(Accepted for publication 29 January 2015)

The field of nonlinear dynamics (or chaos theory) provides ways to expand concepts of psychoanalytic process that have implications for the technique of psychoanalysis. This paper describes how concepts of “the edge of chaos,” emergence, attractors, and coupled oscillators can help shape analytic technique resulting in an approach to doing analysis which is at the same time freer and more firmly based in an enlarged understanding of the ways in which psychoanalysis works than some current recommendation about technique. Illustrations from a lengthy analysis of an analysand with obsessive-compulsive disorder show this approach in action.

[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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