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Cooper, S.H. (2004). State of the Hope: The New Bad Object in the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(5):527-551.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(5):527-551

State of the Hope: The New Bad Object in the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D.

Until recently, most psychoanalytic conceptualizations of the analyst as a new object have tended to equate newness with good experience and safety. Recent papers in the relational literature have explored not only the therapeutic value, but also the inevitability of the patient's experience of the analyst as bad, as well as the analyst's participation in this experience. This author examines the multifarious nature of hope, goodness, and badness in the clinical situation. The patient gets to know not only elements of his or her own self that are held by the analyst, but also ways in which the patient holds elements related to the particulars of the analyst's person in the analytic situation. Shifts in American psychoanalysis regarding conceptualizations of the analyst as a new object are examined. Limitations of a bifurcated approach to goodness and badness in clinical conceptualizations are also explored.

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