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Self Creation by Frank Summers

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2 The Future as Intrinsic to the Psychoanalytic Process

Historically, psychoanalysis has addressed time primarily from the perspective of the past. Such a temporal focus was perhaps inevitable given that the psychoanalytic theory of pathogenesis has always emphasized early experience, whether the childhood roots of pathology are conceived as actual events or early fantasy life. There is no reason to question the idea that the patient's early experience is a crucial dimension of the analytic enterprise. However, a temporal orientation concentrated almost exclusively on the past has limited both the analyst's understanding of the patient and the ability of the analyst to help the patient transcend the dilemmas of present life. As we have seen, ...

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