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Goldberg, S.H. (1987). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985: The Primary Data of Psychoanalysis. Stanley L. Olinick. Pp. 492-500.. Psychoanal Q., 56:730.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985: The Primary Data of Psychoanalysis. Stanley L. Olinick. Pp. 492-500.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:730

Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985: The Primary Data of Psychoanalysis. Stanley L. Olinick. Pp. 492-500.

Steven H. Goldberg

"The primary data of psychoanalysis are not words, nor language as such … but representations or signifiers of process." Process is changing and connecting, and imparts meaning through language, intonation, and gesture. Examples of the "processes" to which the author refers are free association, transference, resistance, conflicts, defenses, and "what the patient is doing with himself and others, often in contrast to the words and language per se." Analysts are advised to pay close attention to paradox, irony, grammatical shifts, and other stylistic features of language in order to derive meaning from the patient's communication. A clinical vignette is offered, in which careful attention to process, as opposed to the contents of the words themselves, yielded unanticipated and important meanings.

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Article Citation

Goldberg, S.H. (1987). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXI, 1985. Psychoanal. Q., 56:730

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