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Renik, O. (1990). Comments on the Clinical Analysis of Anxiety and Depressive Affect. Psychoanal Q., 59:226-248.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:226-248

Comments on the Clinical Analysis of Anxiety and Depressive Affect

Owen Renik, M.D.


In listening to clinical material, the analyst frequently has to decide among several apparently valid avenues of investigation. The author examines an aspect of the way he chooses among technical alternatives. His perceptions of an analysand's motivations are influenced by two complementary affect-defense configurations: inhibition in response to anxiety and enactment of wishful fantasy in response to depressive affect. These conceptualizations act as deep structures at the base of his clinical thinking and give direction to his analytic activity. A connection is suggested between the choice to analyze one or another specific affect-defense configuration and the sequential unfolding of tolerable frustrations and gratifications for the analysand.

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