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Mordecai, E.M. (1995). Negative Therapeutic Reactions: Developing a New Stance. Psychoanal. Psychol., 12(4):483-493.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 12(4):483-493

Negative Therapeutic Reactions: Developing a New Stance

Edna M. Mordecai, Ph.D.

This article proposes a stance toward patients who exhibit severe and persistent negative reactions to ordinarily adequate therapeutic conditions. Previous theories have often designated these patients as untreatable. The new stance is based on the theory that meaning making is a central drive. Therefore we can see that our patients' affects and actions as communications of parts of their stories that are meaningless to them and confounding to us. The reasons for these wordless communications are examined. The new stance enables us to accept the limitations of language and to believe in the quality of the therapeutic ambience we create. In this ambience, the therapeutic endeavor is to struggle along with our patients to find consensual meanings and to translate them into language.

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