Impasse Revisited

Panel Report

Phillida Rosnick
International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 93(3):755-756

This panel considered the infrequently reported topic of psychoanalytic impasse. Specifically, how does one work with and work through an impasse that “deforms the psychoanalytic situation?” (O'Shaughnessy, 1992, p. 603) With Rosenfeld's (1987) Impasse and Interpretation in mind, Edna O'Shaughnessy presented a case in which an impasse developed in the seventh year of analysis. Her paper made an argument for facing and accepting the patient's psychic limitation which then facilitated the patient's resumption of a proper analysis, albeit with now more circumscribed goals. The panel raised important questions about the limits of interpretation and the limiting factors of the capacity of the analysand and the analyst.

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