Searching for a Sensitive Way of Working Through*


This work intends to present aspects of clinical work in which the Ferenczian proposition of neo-catharsis, as re-emergence of repressed affective experience in the transference and countertransference presents itself as a challenge to the analyst, since a standard, classical technical approach results in repetition of past trauma with the analyst as perpetrator. A deviation from standard technique—free association, the principle of abstinence in transference, and interpretation—involving empathic listening, and affective sharing contains the patient’s suffering. The re-emergence of suffering and terror, which represents the repressed affect associated with the traumatic past, but with a sympathetic and sensitive analyst, sharing their experience, is crucial in working through and healing.

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Correspondence to Daniel Kupermann.

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Address correspondence to Daniel Kupermann, Ph.D., Rua Carlos Millan, 22 Apto 51, São Paulo, 01456-030, Brazil.

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Kupermann, D. Searching for a Sensitive Way of Working Through*. Am J Psychoanal 77, 255–264 (2017).

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  • psychoanalytic clinic
  • working-through
  • psychic trauma
  • Sándor Ferenczi
  • neo-catharsis