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Levine, S.S. (2003). Beauty Treatment: The Aesthetics Of The Psychoanalytic Process. Psychoanal Q., 72(4):987-1016.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(4):987-1016

Beauty Treatment: The Aesthetics Of The Psychoanalytic Process

Susan S. Levine, M.S.S., L.C.S.W.

Psychoanalysts enjoy doing analysis above and beyond its usefulness to patients; one reason for this lies in the aesthetic pleasure the analyst may derive from the analytic process. The author discusses this aesthetic pleasure from the standpoint of meaning making, communication, love, and professional craft. Patients may themselves seek in analysis a certain kind of beauty that is normally a byproduct of good enough empathy and communication. Using Kleinian theory, the author examines the ways in which destructiveness and aggression may be understood in relationship to an aesthetic of psychoanalysis. It is further proposed that the aesthetic and ethical principles of psychoanalysis are indissolubly linked.

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