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Lament, C. (2003). The Many Dimensions of Group Process: A Discussion of the Treatment of Sandy. Psychoanal. St. Child, 58:112-122.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 58:112-122

The Many Dimensions of Group Process: A Discussion of the Treatment of Sandy

Claudia Lament, Ph.D.

What is presented is a summary of the study group's discussion of Dr. Olesker's work with her patient Sandy. A spotlight was thrown on the group process with an emphasis on the organic nature of how this group of psychoanalysts came to grips with the nature of Sandy's inner world. One central issue which challenged the group was how to conceptualize the structure of her mind: Was she a child whose mental life could best be described as compromised by a fundamental biological frailty so that a primary emptiness or inchoate quality of mental contents reigned? If so, technical interventions which turned on narrative building were viewed as the principal therapeutic action. On the other hand, if her difficulties were perceived as stemming primarily from primitive psychological anxieties of annihilation and separateness, a dynamic approach was agreed upon as the preferred mode of treatment. Other issues regarding the transformational potentialities in the developmental process and the use of the analyst as a transformational object were also highlighted.

Lastly, I offered my own perspective as to what I imagined occurred between Dr. Olesker and Sandy over the course of her treatment which enabled Sandy to change.

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