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Lenoff, L. (2020). Therapeutic Goals, Functional Capacity, and the Conditions of Therapeutic Action. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(4):271-280.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(4):271-280

Therapeutic Goals, Functional Capacity, and the Conditions of Therapeutic Action

Lester Lenoff, JD, LCSW

Owen Renik has asserted the priority of therapeutic goals, “to afford the patient more satisfaction and less distress in life” over “psychoanalytic goals ... necessarily formulated in terms that refer to psychoanalytic theory”. In practice, I tended to respond intuitively, guided by my sense of what would be helpful in the pursuit of therapeutic goals. Structural theories that define the content of mental process — selfobject transferences; self- and object-representations; dissociated or inchoate relational enactments — did not provide an explanatory framework for my practice. I present here an exploration of the conditions of therapeutic action focused directly on therapeutic goals.

[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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