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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Davison, W.T. Pray, M. Bristol, C. (1990). Mutative Interpretation and Close Process Monitoring in a Study of Psychoanalytic Process. Psychoanal Q., 59:599-628.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:599-628

Mutative Interpretation and Close Process Monitoring in a Study of Psychoanalytic Process

Walter T. Davison, M.D., Monroe Pray, M.D. and Curtis Bristol, M.D.


When James Strachey defined the mutative interpretation, he did not have defense interpretation in mind, but a few years later Anna Freud opened the door to new ways of making small-scale non-transference and transference interpretations that alter superego functions. Using her model and a special mode of listening, the authors suggest an updated technique of intervention with resultant superego change, which qualifies for consideration as a later version of the mutative interpretation.

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