Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 99–119 | Cite as

Penetrating the boundaries of latent conflict

  • Paul V. Trad


The psychotherapeutic process has customarily been divided into an opening phase, a working-through phase, and a termination phase. Beyond recognition of these stages, few theorists have offered criteria for tracking the transition from one phase to the next. A related problem affecting each of these stages has been whether dynamically-oriented psychotherapy can predict latent conflict before it becomes manifest. Developmental principles derived from the early life relationship between caregiver and infant may provide therapists with a viable approach for handling these issues. By applying these principles analogously to the therapeutic situation, therapists may be able to better predict the transitions between stages, as well as to identify latent conflict before it is manifested. Moreover, these principles may also provide criteria for determining when treatment should be terminated.


Public Health Social Psychology Early Life Related Problem Opening Phase 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul V. Trad
    • 1
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Outpatient DepartmentThe New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center Westchester DivisionWhite Plains

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