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Levenson, L.N. (2004). Inhibition of Self-Observing Activity in Psychoanalytic Treatment. Psychoanal. St. Child, 59:167-188.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 59:167-188

Inhibition of Self-Observing Activity in Psychoanalytic Treatment

Lawrence N. Levenson, M.D.

The author examines the topic of inhibition of self-observing function in some patients arising from conflicts over aggression. The author's thesis is that conflicts over aggression can interfere with the patient's task of shifting from passively reporting spontaneously occurring associations to actively reflecting on his thoughts in an analysis. This can result in the patient remaining in the role of passive reporter of his associations while ceding to the analyst the role of aggressive interpreter of the patient's psychic functioning. The active ego functions necessary for understanding and integration are inhibited, compromising the potential for growth and change. Clinical vignettes illustrate a close process analytic process to this phenomenon.

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