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Bass, A. (2008). A Few More Thoughts on the Frame: Forms, Functions, and Meanings. Psychoanal. Dial., 18(2):262-268.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(2):262-268

A Few More Thoughts on the Frame: Forms, Functions, and Meanings

Anthony Bass, Ph.D.

This response to discussants David Scharff, Juan Tubert-Oklander, Boaz Shalgi, and Reyna Hernández-Tubert takes up some further considerations bearing on the variety of forms, functions, and meanings of an analytic frame. The metaphor of a “fractal,” drawn from chaos theory, is discussed, in terms of its relevance to the relationship between therapeutic process and the structure of the analytic frame, and between content and process. Multiple functions of the frame, both practical and symbolic, are considered. “Structuring” and “holding” dimensions of the frame are discussed, with particular reference to Winnicott's groundbreaking paper, “Hate in the Counter-transference,” as well as his analysis of Margaret Little.

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