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Historical-conceptual investigation of the setting and its role in the dynamic of the analytic situation

Grant number: 23/02093-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:Nelson Ernesto Coelho Junior
Grantee:Amanda Watson Martins Pereira
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Since its begining, psychoanalysis has expanded its theoretical and practical scope, and has been taken to increasingly diverse contexts and patients. In this expansion, the use of the classical psychoanalytic device proposed by Freud and his followers (couch, free association, high frequency) has been challenged, leading to the proposition of the concept of setting (Bleger, 1967; Green, 2005) as the set of conditions necessary for analytic work, and to theorizing about the necessary modifications of the setting in working with different patients (Roussillon, 2012). Thus, psychoanalytic theory has come to envisage and recognize a variety of clinical devices, adapted to the needs of each case. However, adaptation to patients' emotional needs is not the only source of modifications in the classical setting, as we observed in the remote modality during the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, and in the progressive reduction of session frequency in some cultural, economic, and social contexts. Thus, this research conducts a historical-conceptual review of the existing literature, that is, the literature on the creation of the concept of the setting and the advocacy of its adaptation to the emotional needs of patients. This review aims to investigate the role attributed to the setting, seeking to understand the mechanisms of its influence on the analytic situation, in order to produce the theoretical conditions necessary to diagnose the role of the setting in contemporary clinical practice.

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