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Working through

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Working through is the process in psychoanalytic therapy when a therapist and patient follow on from an interpretation exploring the implications while overcoming the resistance in order to enable the client to accept the previously repressed material underlying their symptoms. It is the working through of the implications of the new understanding.


Mary had idolised her mother and hated her father because he abused her. In therapy she came to relise that her mother must have known about the abuse. This new insight means that Mary had to work through the implications and reevaluate her feelings towards her mother, perhaps eventually discussing the issue with her. It is called "work" for a reason as it can be very difficult and exhausting emotionally to process such new information.

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References & Bibliography

Key texts



  • Freud, S (19) Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through.

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