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January 1959

Psychoanalytic Reduction of an Affect Block

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(1):100-113. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340130120018

Many detailed studies of special psycho-analytic situations will be necessary to point out the dynamics and the techniques of support and egobuilding as an integrated part of the psycho-analytic process and not separated from it.

—Therese Benedek1

This paper is an account of the first two years (450 sessions) of a long-term psychoanalysis of an obsessive-schizoid woman, two years during which a powerful affect block was partly reduced by analysis. The techniques used, their clinical indications, and the psychoanalytic encounter will be described.

The three phases in the described treatment correlated with the psychoanalysis of the three major general defenses. The opening phase, prevailing during the first 30 hours, was establishing affective contact to combat defenses of aloofness, autism, and pseudocontact. In this phase the psychoanalyst needed to be explicitly experienced as a dependable, interested, accepting, understanding, professional person.

The second phase was interpretation of living out the life

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