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Brody, S. (2009). On the Edge: Exploring the End of the Analytic Hour. Psychoanal. Dial., 19(1):87-97.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(1):87-97

On the Edge: Exploring the End of the Analytic Hour

Stephanie Brody, Psy.D.

The final moments of the analytic hour are a repetitive reenactment whose symbolic meaning can be both a challenge and an opportunity. Each member of the analytic dyad is vulnerable to the revival of deprivation and loss that is introduced by the end of the hour, and each will handle the experience in a unique way. When this cocreated moment occurs in the absence of awareness, there can be avoidance and enactment. When it occurs in the context of shared understanding, the analytic pair is free to intensify, play with, and confront the limitations and inevitabilities of life that are revived again and again when we approach and reach the end. Integrating theoretical perspectives on mourning, attachment, and self-states, along with clinical vignettes, the paper will show how existential questions are present in many of our analytic encounters. As we help our clients negotiate this moment, we too may acknowledge aspects of ourselves that can intensify our awareness, and facilitate our therapeutic effectiveness. Our capacity to explore this important edge of analytic space with our patients can help them to live and to love and can enrich our work if we can be open to its multifaceted meaning.

[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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