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Slochower, J. (2019). Getting Better All the Time?. Psychoanal. Dial., 29(5):548-559.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 29(5):548-559

Getting Better All the Time?

Joyce Slochower, Ph.D., ABPP

I address a psychoanalytic ghost with which we all will eventually contend; it’s the ghost of who we will become—the ghost of our own aging and the changes it portends. We analysts have enormous difficulty dealing with this inevitability. We rarely examine, much less theorize, its impact on us as analysts and on our patients. How will we manage the impending diminishment of capacity that comes with aging? How will we help our patients confront it in us and in themselves? After considering the impact—personal and theoretical—of aging on us as analysts, I explore how aging may inform our relationship to the work we do. Aging can affect—and change—both the theory we use and how we use it. These shifts are subtle, often procedural, and easily go unnoticed. I describe the way my own, and several colleagues’ uses of theory have changed over time and muse about what has informed those changes.

[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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