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Barclay, D. (2020). An Analyst Has a Birthday - Can Forgiveness Heal?. Psychoanal. Dial., 30(1):19-31.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 30(1):19-31

An Analyst Has a Birthday - Can Forgiveness Heal?

Diane Barclay, LCSW

Forgiveness is a challenging endeavor in human experience and in clinical work. Is it an important and/or legitimate analytic concept? Long the province of theologians and philosophers, forgiveness has had little theoretical place in the psychoanalytic lexicon. This paper considers the analytic place of forgiveness through a treatment that was shadowed by two lost mothers – the patient’s and analyst’s - in the consulting room. The patient’s question, “must we forgive to heal?” will be examined in this story of healing for both him and his analyst.

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