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Hymer, S. (1986). The Multidimensional Significance of the Look. Psychoanal. Psychol., 3(2):149-157.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 3(2):149-157

The Multidimensional Significance of the Look

Sharon Hymer, Ph.D.

This article examines the multiple meanings of the look in psychotherapy as it pertains to self-development and object relations. The significance of the mutual mirroring gaze in the establishment of self-affirmation is contrasted with the transformation of the self into an object of alienated reflection. The psychosexual perspective is broadened to demonstrate how the look is always endowed with object relational significance. The analyst who remains cognizant of changes in the look over time can begin to monitor the vicissitudes of the patient's look to enhance trust and build intimacy.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am known.

—1 Corinthians 13:12

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