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Tubert-Oklander, J. (2008). Contribution to the Discussion on the Analytic Frame. Psychoanal. Dial., 18(2):239-242.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(2):239-242

Contribution to the Discussion on the Analytic Frame

Juan Tubert-Oklander, M.D.

The setting or frame is that part of the analytic process that changes more slowly than the other parts, as a result of a series of agreements between analyst and analysand. It fulfils six different but interrelated functions: It is (a) a relatively stable frame of reference for perception of the more rapidly moving phenomena; (b) a frame or boundary that defines an area within which all events carry a particular meaning; (c) a containing and holding relation for the patient's emotional life; (d) a co-creation, and therefore a part of the analytic relationship; (e) a legal situation that regulates the relationship; and (f) a definition of the limits—spatial, temporal, relational, and legal—that isolate a subgroup (a pair) from the larger community, thus making it the depository of certain collective fantasies that involve mating, conceiving, and giving birth to a product. This defines psychoanalysis as a special context, distinct from ordinary social life and ruled by the values of compassion, care, rationality, mutual recognition, negotiation, fairness, truthfulness, and a firmly shared intention of discovering, verbalizing, and discussing truth. The transmission of this way of thinking and acting to candidates in training should be done from the very beginning.

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