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Rangell, L. (1982). Some Thoughts on Termination. Psychoanal. Inq., 2(3):367-392.

(1982). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 2(3):367-392

Some Thoughts on Termination

Leo Rangell, M.D.

It is some 15 years since I first wrote on the subject of the termination phase of psychoanalytic therapy (Rangell, 1966; see also discussions by K. Menninger, 1966; E. Ticho, 1966). In that paper I described the postanalytic phase as an integral and continuing part of the psychoanalytic process. One might compare this addition to the expansion of our concept of the developmental process. To the first libidinal phases laid down by Freud (1905), we have added not only the comparable phases of ego development but also such specific developmental achievements as the phase of pregnancy and motherhood (G. Bibring et al., 1961), the phase of parenthood (Anthony & Benedek, 1970), and, most recently, the phase of fatherhood (Ross, 1975; Cath, Gurwitt, & Ross, 1982). Erikson has further contributed to this expansion with his concepts of the life cycle (1950, 1959) and the generational cycle (1980). (Incidentally, the postanalytic phase, applied to candidates, has relevance to the analytic generational cycle in view of the role it plays in determining the results of training analysis and therefore the relationship that comes to exist between analytic generations.)

Since my 1966 paper, a number of noteworthy contributions have been made on this topic (e.g.,

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