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Suler, J.R. (1989). Mental Imagery in Psychoanalytic Treatment. Psychoanal. Psychol., 6(3):343-366.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 6(3):343-366

Mental Imagery in Psychoanalytic Treatment

John R. Suler

Mental imagery techniques may facilitate the therapeutic process by stimulating patients' insight into unconscious dynamics by helping them uncover and master warded-off affect, and by enhancing the clinician's empathic contact and access to countertransference. The history of imagery techniques in the psychoanalytic movement and the effect of these techniques on the traditional psychoanalytic method are reviewed. A conceptual framework based on the theory of primary and secondary process suggests spontaneity, experiential scope, associative elaboration, and object impact as four dimensions for the clinical evaluation of imagery experience.

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