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Fonagy, P. Moran, G.S. Edgcumbe, R. Kennedy, H. Target, M. (1993). The Roles of Mental Representations and Mental Processes in Therapeutic Action. Psychoanal. St. Child, 48:9-48.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 48:9-48

The Roles of Mental Representations and Mental Processes in Therapeutic Action

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., George S. Moran, Ph.D., Rose Edgcumbe, B.A., Hansi Kennedy and Mary Target, M.S


In this paper we describe two models of the psychoanalytic treatment of mental disturbance. The first describes the mechanism by which the patient is helped to recover threatening ideas and feelings which have been repudiated or distorted as a result of conflict and defense. The second points to the therapeutic effects of engaging previously inhibited mental processes within the psychoanalytic encounter. The two forms of therapeutic action imply two distinct means available to the individual to deal with psychological conflict. They highlight different aspects of the psychoanalytic process and technique in child and adult psychoanalysis.

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