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Rubinfine, P. (2016). In the Pursuit of Absence: Reimagining Early Loss within the Psychotherapy Relationship. Psychoanal. Dial., 26(5):549-563.

(2016). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 26(5):549-563

In the Pursuit of Absence: Reimagining Early Loss within the Psychotherapy Relationship

Penny Rubinfine, LCSW

In this paper I examine absence—absence as an internal relationship, absence as an enactment, absences characteristic of psychotherapy, absence as a theory, and absence as something people do to each other, including patients, therapists, families, and societies. To illustrate these ideas, I discuss my work with Gemma. When absence enters our relationship in a very present way, the powerful emotions that absence eludes come alive for us. Forced to confront my own absences, I begin doing a better job of holding her in mind, which ultimately helps her to hold me in mind and make better use of me.

[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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