13 Chapters
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Chapter Four - Reverie and the Aesthetics of Psychoanalysis

Karnac Books ePub

Giuseppe Civitarese

Bion's theory of the analytic field (Ferro & Civitarese, 2015) takes the Freudian paradigm of dreaming to its extreme consequences but also reinscribes it in an intersubjective frame. The meeting of patient and analyst gives rise to a third area that is created by both, and that is greater than the sum of the initial parts. The metaphor used to describe this intermediary space, force field, is taken from physics. The unconscious communication between minds generates the turbulence that emerges in this field. This unconscious communication takes place through projective identification and entails an effective and reciprocal interpersonal pressure to receive the projected elements. The pairing is a small group, equipped with one mind whose job it is to transform these emotional storms into thought. The operation in itself involves psychic growth.

Nevertheless, this operation concerns not only conscious thought but also preverbal thought. Preverbal does not necessarily, however, mean asymbolic. The symbolic—that is, the field of language and the rules that constitute it—also expresses itself through sensorimotor patterns written into the body. It could be claimed that the foetus is already exposed to the effects of the symbolic through the way in which, in the uterus, the mother provides a semiotic chora (Kristeva, 1974), a cradle that welcomes, envelops, and protects, and which is made up of a myriad of rhythmically ordered sensory impressions.

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Chapter One - Escape within

Karnac Books ePub

Sabah Al-Dhaher

It is the loss and hardships of life that make us draw on our inner strength and that temper the soul. My sculpture and painting are a tribute to those who go through the grieving process of loss, especially in war-torn countries. When I think of Iraq, my homeland, what comes to mind is an image of an Iraqi female whose face holds all those unspoken words—words of love, loss, and sadness (Figures 1–3).

Before I could create the work I now produce, I had to move through a deeply personal process to reconnect to my own artist within. In 1998 I painted Escape Within, my first work of art since arriving in Seattle as a political refugee in 1993 (book cover). Escape Within, painted with coffee and coloured ink, was the first necessary step in the work of facing and transforming my own grief and sense of trauma at having lived through the Iraq−Iran war during the 1980s. Escape Within captures my experience of having been tortured in an Iraqi prison, of having escaped Iraq in 1991, and of having spent two and a half years in a prisoner-of-war camp in the desert of Saudi Arabia before finally arriving in the United States as a political refugee (Figure 4).

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Chapter Six - The Timing of the use of Reverie

Karnac Books ePub

S. Montana Katz

Reverie can be a powerful tool for the analyst. I will indicate in this chapter how the most effective use of reverie follows after the analyst and analysand have established a significant amount of bi-personal communication. Once the means of bi-personal communication has been established, the analyst can make use of reverie in the therapeutic process more readily and meaningfully. Arriving at the point in an analytic process in which to make optimal use of reverie may involve the analyst's implementation of two other tools of analytic listening. These tools are the dream function of the analytic sessions and listening to listening. These two tools may be understood as preparatory to the analyst's use of reverie.

This chapter addresses the use of three techniques of analytic listening within clinical processes: the dream function of sessions, listening to listening, and reverie. In this chapter I will describe a way of thinking heuristically about implementing the three tools in a progression. This technical progression captures a way of working in an analytic process. Each of the three techniques of analytic listening may also operate at many other points in an analytic process. The dream function of sessions may usefully be continuously operative within an analytic process. The listening to listening technique assumes an initial level of understanding already established between analyst and analysand. Within a phase of an analytic process, effective use of reverie is most evident as the last clinical application in the progression of using the three techniques. An effective use of reverie may follow from already having a baseline of communication and understanding derived from both of the other two techniques.

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Chapter Eleven - Working with Stone, Working with Psyche: The Role of Reverie in the Process of Making Art and Working with Patients

Karnac Books ePub

Shierry Weber Nicholsen

Introductory remarks

This chapter had its origin in the request that I give a talk about the role of reverie in making my stone sculpture and in working with my patients. When I delivered the talk I was very intent on speaking directly to the audience, an audience composed primarily but not entirely of clinicians. Although some of the marks of oral presentation have been edited out of the present version, the material still bears the traces of this initial context; the reader will still sense that I am addressing the audience members—now readers—directly, trying to make the process I am describing vivid for their imaginations.

My aim is to give you, the reader, a sense of reverie at work, both in the making of art and in analytic work with patients. In doing so I will try to describe reverie without referring to psychoanalytic theory or using technical terms, as the other papers in this volume will do that. And although I am both a stone sculptor and a psychoanalyst, I will be speaking primarily about working with stone, and I will stress the similarities between making art and working with patients. (There is no need to stress the differences. It is obvious to all of us that a piece of stone and a person are very different indeed.) Many of the things I will say about the role of reverie in my stonework will immediately evoke analogies to working with patients, and when I speak about reverie in analytic work I will do so as an analogy to working with stone. In this way I hope the similarities will become very clear. In this way, too, I hope not only to shed light on reverie and how it functions but also to make the process of making art more understandable for clinicians. We look at works of art, at least I do, and say in wonderment, “How on earth did the artist do that?” I will do my best to convey “how the artist does that”, and reverie is a very important part of that “how”.

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Chapter Three - Come on—hold a Baby's Hand

Karnac Books ePub

Margaret Bergmann-Ness, Judy K. Eekhoff, Kerry Ragain, Barbara Sewell, and Carolyn Steinberg

Introduction

What is reverie? How is it that we develop the capacity for reverie? The word reverie brings to mind something that is lovely and sweet, like a daydream as we watch people in the park. According to Wilfred Bion, however, the psychoanalytic concept of reverie is a maternal capacity to sense and make sense of what is going on inside the infant. In her paper, “Bion and babies,” Susanna Isaacs Elmhirst (1980) refers to Bion's reverie as a very active mental process associated with mothers of newborn babies, not something passive. As psychoanalysts, we use this mental process to understand ourselves and to come to know something about the primitive inner worlds of our patients. The study of reverie through infant observation is an integral part of psychoanalytic training at Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in Seattle, Washington (USA). The perspective gained through observing an infant, thinking and writing about the experience, and discussion in the corresponding seminar illustrates the usefulness of infant observation in honing analytic skills. Infant observation brings to life Bion's important concept of psychoanalytic reverie.

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