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(1989). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 58:338.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:338

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

DISCUSSION: Dr. Stephen Firestein observed that Dr. Abend's thesis is a special version of a general orientation: the investigation of the analysand's unconscious fantasies regarding any aspect of the treatment supplies clarification of the transference, essential for proper clinical management. In Dr. Abend's first illustration, he described the premature urge to terminate reported by a woman in connection with the birth of her first baby. Examining this plan as if it were a piece of a manifest dream led to at least four important latent issues, and the work continued. The second vignette, also from the lengthy analysis of a woman, focused upon the patient's tentatively raising the question of termination despite residual difficulties. The problem here was more in the bailiwick of the patient's yearning to remain indefinitely in treatment, a perpetual transference gratification. Only after exploration of the painful fantasies about termination could the patient proceed further to an actual termination. Dr. Firestein agreed with Dr. Abend that many of these fantasies emerge only with the stimulus of the approach of the termination loss of the analyst. That analysts also have fantasies about termination which must be monitored to avoid mischief in the conduct of the treatment is a reminder that Dr. Abend usefully included.

Dr. Yale Kramer observed that a sense of disappointment runs through the literature on termination from 1927 to the present. Part of the problem is due to the proliferation of theory and the extraordinary rarity of clinically detailed case reports.

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