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Ogden, T.H. (2018). How I Talk With My Patients. Psychoanal Q., 87(3):399-413.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87(3):399-413

Original Articles

How I Talk With My Patients

Thomas H. Ogden

In this paper the author attempts to describe and illustrate how he talks with his patients. He avoids use of language that invites the patient to engage predominantly in conscious, secondary process thinking, when unconscious dimensions of thinking are what are called for. He values misunderstandings because they tend to invite conjecture, possibility, a sense of humility, in the face of the unknown and unknowable human condition. The author finds that certainty on the part of the analyst undermines the analytic process and patient’s potential for psychic growth. The author discusses the ways describing, as opposed to explaining, in the analytic conversation, better facilitates the analytic process. A clinical example is provided in which the author discusses his own thought processes as he talks with one of his patients.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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