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Alston, E.F. (1962). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XI, 1961: On the Analytic Situation: The Analyst is Silent. Maurie D. Pressman. Pp. 168-182.. Psychoanal Q., 31:584-584.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XI, 1961: On the Analytic Situation: The Analyst is Silent. Maurie D. Pressman. Pp. 168-182.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:584-584

Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XI, 1961: On the Analytic Situation: The Analyst is Silent. Maurie D. Pressman. Pp. 168-182.

Edwin F. Alston

In this paper the analyst's silence is discussed from the standpoint of its dynamic effects, its meanings to the patient, its contraindications, and the forces that tend to disrupt it. Silence creates the atmosphere most favorable for free association, gives time for the associations to converge, and undermines the patient's defenses. For the analyst, silence may provide the time and opportunity to work in an uncontaminated field and to absorb and reflect on the material offered by the patient. It also affords him the opportunity to bind his countertransference impulses, thus giving him greater objectivity. For the patient, the analyst's silence may have a variety of meanings, ranging from hostility and deprivation to confidence and love. The specific significance of the silence depends on the patient's genetic experiences. A number of specific contraindications to the analyst's silence are discussed. In general these occur whenever it increases the patient's resistance or impedes the progress of analysis.

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Article Citation

Alston, E.F. (1962). Bulletin of the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis. XI, 1961. Psychoanal. Q., 31:584-584

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