4198 Chapters
Medium 9781782203148

Chapter Thirteen - The Spiral of Transference: From Mutative Interpretation to Reverie

Karnac Books ePub

Shelley Rockwell

James Strachey's brilliant paper on therapeutic action has provided a touchstone for analysts since its publication in 1934, his central point being that growth in the patient depends primarily on the analyst's ability to give a mutative interpretation, working from within the alive here-and-now transference. In this paper Strachey lays out what we now take for granted—the theoretical and clinical evidence regarding the central importance of the mutative interpretation, which is a transference interpretation that brings to light the difference between the analyst as the internal (archaic, original) object and the analyst as an ordinary and separate person from the patient. In essence, something different can be introjected—an analyst that is not equivalent to the patient's internal object.

Implicit in much of Strachey's paper, and explicit in the final paragraph, is that as analysts we find the giving of a transference interpretation strangely difficult. The very thing the patient needs most from us feels impossible to give. In this chapter I suggest that Strachey may have reversed the problem, or at least the sequence—putting the cart before the horse—as it seems the crucial difficulty lies in our initial and ongoing capacity to accept the patient's projective identification. Without fully accepting these projections, our contact with the patient is weakened, resulting in a tentative transference interpretation or a weakened, frightened state of mind in the analyst. I will explore this question and its implications for our technique as I go along—but would like to remind us of Bion's now classic statement on the mother/analyst's state of mind:

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Medium 9781855752399

6. Reverie and Interpretation.

Ogden, Thomas Karnac Books ePub

Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of me finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue. It is me very atmosphere of the mind; and when we mind is imaginative … it takes to itself the faintest hints of life

Henry James, 1884

I believe that we do well in psychoanalysis to allow words and ideas a certain slippage. This is particularly true of the term reverie (Bion 1962a, b). What I shall attempt in this chapter is not a definition of reverie, but a discussion of my own experience of attempting to make use of my own states of reverie to further the analytic process. In this way I hope to convey a sense of what I mean by the experience of reverie in an analytic setting and how I make analytic use of the “overlapping states of reverie” of analyst and analysand.

It is almost impossible not to be dismissive of reverie since it is an experience that takes the most mundane and yet most personal of shapes. These shapes, especially early on in the process of moving toward verbal symbolization of reverie experience (and we are most of the time early on in the process), are the stuff of ordinary life—the day-to-day concerns that accrue in the process of being alive as a human being. Reveries “are things made out of lives and the world that the lives inhabit… [they are about] people: people working, thinking about things, falling in love, taking naps … [about] the habit of the world, its strange ordinariness, its ordinary strangeness … (Jarrell 1953, p. 68, speaking about Frost’s poetry). They are our ruminations, daydreams, fantasies, bothly sensations, fleeting perceptions, images emerging from states of half-sleep (Frayn 1987), tunes (Boyer 1992) and phrases (Flannery 1979) that run through our minds, and so on.

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Medium 9781782203148

Chapter Five - From Fairbairn to the Planet Neptune: Reverie and the Animistic Psyche

Karnac Books ePub

Mark Gundry

This chapter was conceived in reverie. My own conscious intentionality came second to wonder, and allowing myself to be immersed in a state of not-knowing. I felt unsure how the ideas would develop. An unknown factor moved me into a play of thoughts relating to the subject. I chose to trust this animating movement despite feeling exposed and uncertain. The chapter's conception therefore evinces the heart of its arguments: reverie opens us to the unknowable, while paradoxically eliciting our desire to understand and make contact with what we do not yet and in some cases can never know. It also elicits our desire to recollect a forgotten reality: the elemental aliveness or animism that moves in the psyche and in the world. Psychotherapy gives these elements of reverie a ritual space. Here the therapeutic couple find themselves initiated into the living reality of the psyche. Both participants begin to wonder, to question, to recollect, and to feel contact with an animating reality often obscured by personal and cultural biases and the psychic deadness that results from these biases.

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Medium 9781855756267

Dora's Dream: Freud's passage from the first interpretation to an interpretation agreeing with his general theory

Barcaro, Umberto Karnac Books ePub

We first consider a dream reported by Freud in the 12th Lecture of his Introduction, entitled “Some analyses of sample dreams” (Freud 1916–1917). The dreamer was a neurotic subject. The manifest dream is the following:

Dream Report: “He was travelling in a railway-train. The train came to a stop in open country. He thought there was going to be an accident and that he must think of getting away. He went through all the coaches in the train and killed everyone he met—the guard, the engine-driver, and so on.” (p. 197)

The indicated memory sources are listed below (we have preferred to number them): of course, the attribution of the various excerpts to separate sources is simply derived by a logical reflection on the contents of the text.

Source 1: “He thought of a story told him by a friend. A lunatic was being conveyed in a compartment on an Italian line, but through carelessness a traveller was allowed in with him. The madman killed the other traveller.” (p. 197)

Freud's comment to this association is:

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Medium 9781855757615

5 The mind of the analyst: from listening to interpretation

Baranger, Madeleine; Baranger, Willy; Glocer Fiorini, Leticia Karnac Books ePub


Madeleine Baranger

There is no such thing as perception without an object, or without another subject. It is only by an effort of abstraction that we can ask ourselves what passes through the mind of the analyst between listening and interpretation. The analyst's internal process which leads him to interpret belongs from the beginning to an intersub-jective situation, however structurally asymmetrical it may be.

Similarly, analytic listening is directed in advance towards an eventual interpretation, whose content is not yet known at the time of listening but which gradually takes shape up to the moment when the interpretation has to be formulated to the analysand. The intersubjectivity of the analytic dialogue, while describing an essential aspect of the processes with which we are concerned (what happens in the analyst), conceals—and sometimes reveals— another intersubjective type of structure, just as the visible–audible is superimposed on the invisible–unheard of. This second structure, sometimes called the “intersubjective field”, underlies as something unsaid or unsayable both the analysand's material as presented and the analyst's formulations; in the latter, it determines both the content of the interpretation and the feeling-conviction that the interpretation must be formulated.

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