Repetition and Working Through

The working-through process involves repeated examination of the same topic. If the treatment is progressing, each repetition is perhaps a bit different and contributes to the overall decrease in repression and increase in understanding. Some new aspect of conflict may be identified, and new linkages between topics are established. Realization of developmental antecedents of current conflicts helps the task of differentiating current reality from past fantasy.

Previously warded-off ideas and feelings may be allowed expression and modification during repetitions. Linkages to other domains of meaning may be established. In each repetition there may be a shift in the interaction of wishes, fears, defenses, and beliefs about reality. Should the whole topic again fall under repression, as it characteristically does after the treatment hour, it is in this revised form and can come up again, each time more easily, for further revision until it is completely analyzed.

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