OBJECT TRUST: A Specific Kind of Analytic Change

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Abstract

Diversity of analytic change seems today to be taken as a fact. The present article aims at discussing subtle, but important, differences in concepts of analytic change. By starting with a structural viewpoint on analytic change it is argued that there may exist changes with a low degree of differentiation that are important to register. A former patient of psychoanalysis is presented. Material from his outcome is presented from three different sources: self-report, psychoanalytic interview, and Rorschach. The self-report material indicates a successful analytic experience, although the other two point in divergent directions. Through discussion of the three discrepant perspectives on the former patient’s outcome, the article aims to shed light on the specific dynamics of this case and to argue that the case illustrates a specific kind of analytic change. The concept of “object trust” is proposed to correspond to changes in the experiential domain. This concept is discussed against other parallel descriptions and concepts within the psychoanalytic literature. Moreover, this kind of analytic change is for some patients seen as a necessary step toward possible further analytic work.

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