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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Whose Termination Is It Anyway?

Termination of psychoanalytic treatment presents a complex challenge concerning the application of psychoanalytic theory and technique. The paucity of cases that might provide analysts an opportunity to explore a variety of management approaches demands that practitioners share their experiences in as much detail as possible, but this occurs infrequently outside of seminars and discussion groups. In an effort to 'cast a lens' on the termination process, a detailed description and process notes are presented from the closing phase of a 4-year analysis of a man with obsessive compulsive personality and difficulties with urination outside his home. The analyst's countertransference is emphasized, especially during enactments characteristic of this period. Alterations and variations in analytic technique and thedemands for practical courses of action within and outside of the treatment are also examined. The issue of 'forced' versus 'natural' terminations addressed as a means towards understanding a model of termination as a necessarily co-constructed component of analysis generally.