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Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 0102-3772


ZANATTA, Denise  and  BENETTI, Silvia Pereira da Cruz. Mental representation and therapeutic change: a contribution from the psychoanalytical approach of object relations theory. Psic.: Teor. e Pesq. [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.1, pp.93-100. ISSN 0102-3772.

In spite of the progress realized in psychotherapeutic research, studies in the psychoanalytical approach are still scarce. The objective of this article is to present and to discuss the contribution of the concept of mental representation as an important construct to substantiate psychoanalytic research based on the identification of the elements associated with therapeutic change. First, concepts and psychoanalytic models are presented and after that the notion of mental representation is specifically discussed in relation to therapeutic change, particularly the object relation theory. Thus, the Object Relation Inventory is presented, an instrument designed to assess the quality of mental representations, evaluating changes along psychotherapy. Elements to improve clinical work and the development of research in psychoanalysis are presented.

Keywords : mental representation; therapeutic change; psychoanalytic psychotherapy; object relations.

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