Chicago Psychoanalytic Society
Scientific Presentation

Termination: A Conceptual History and a Contemporary View

January 25, 2000

Northwestern Dental School
240 E. Huron Rm 3380
7:00 pm

Presenter: Paula Fuqua, MD

The paper begins with a brief review of the existing literature on the termination of psychoanalytic treatment, focusing on the importance given to the complete resolution of the transference neurosis by Ferenczi, Glover and others. Schlessinger and Robbins made it clear in their later research that the transference never resolves completely and irrevocably. Taking a self-psychological perspective, the author argues that the concept of analysis as a discrete process with a beginning, middle and end is a Procrustean bed, which limits our effectiveness. Psychoanalysis is an on-going process that aims at sustaining the growth of the individual. An adolescent-like process through which the analysand wishes to establish her independent competence fuels those treatments that end most discretely. Other treatments may dwindle, stop and start several times, or never really end. This ought to be permissible as long as it continues to promote the growth and stability of the self.

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