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Gray, S.H. (1990). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LII. 1988: The Psychology of Combining Dynamic Psychotherapy and Alcoholics Anonymous. Lance M. Dodes, Pp. 283-293.. Psychoanal Q., 59:337.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LII. 1988: The Psychology of Combining Dynamic Psychotherapy and Alcoholics Anonymous. Lance M. Dodes, Pp. 283-293.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:337

Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LII. 1988: The Psychology of Combining Dynamic Psychotherapy and Alcoholics Anonymous. Lance M. Dodes, Pp. 283-293.

Sheila Hafter Gray

The theoretical foundations of Alcoholics Anonymous and those of dynamic psychotherapy are essentially contradictory, yet many patients are able to use both at the same time. The author suggests that they do this by splitting the narcissistic transference. They tend to idealize Alcoholics Anonymous; and they express the major part of the mirroring transference and their structural conflicts within the formal psychotherapy setting. From this perspective, the dual approach may be seen as a technical variant of the treatment of any narcissistically vulnerable patient. In the short term, a narcissistic investment in Alcoholics Anonymous can help the patient remain sober long enough for psychotherapy to take effect. The patient's defensive use of the "disease model" of alcoholism expounded by Alcoholics Anonymous can be addressed dynamically as one would any other regressive pull that the patient experiences as beyond personal control. Ultimately, both the pathological drinking and the narcissistic investment in Alcoholics Anonymous may be interpreted. There is a well-selected bibliography.

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Article Citation

Gray, S.H. (1990). Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic. LII. 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 59:337

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