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Hartocollis, P. (2003). Time and the Psychoanalytic Situation. Psychoanal Q., 72(4):939-957.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(4):939-957

Time and the Psychoanalytic Situation

Peter Hartocollis, M.D., Ph.D.

Implicitly or explicitly, time dominates the psychoanalytic situation. The precision, consistency of duration, and regularity of analytic sessions enhance the patient's ego boundaries, counteracting the regressive effects of timelessness induced by free association. The extended overall duration of psychoanalysis and the high frequency of sessions favor the development of transference neurosis. The interpretation of the transference in the here and now of the analytic situation illuminates the past, and as a result, the patient's self-image and that of the world become better integrated. The sense of time in the analytic situation for both patient and analyst varies along with the vicissitudes of transference and countertransference.

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