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Arundale, J. (1994). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 11(2):183-184.

(1994). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 11(2):183-184


Jean Arundale

The central role of the unconscious, and the importance of exploring it so as not to be its servant, are notions fully embraced by analytical psychotherapists, and this issue features articles that explore the unconscious in various ways. As we know, Freud viewed the dynamic unconscious - characterised by repressed emotion, displacement, condensation, symbolism and timelessness - as more than pathology-based but necessary for a general psychology. So it is interesting to reflect that the new cognitive sciences offer models of the mind without a concept of the dynamic unconscious, and so a new version of the cult of the rational. The unconscious realm of primal phantasies and imagined scenarios is surely the dynamic energy source for creativity, and narrates relational force fields that can't be represented by information processing models. Enigmas in the consulting room are a matter of teasing out the disguised, split-off content and when we unearth unconscious ideas and patterns, whole areas of mind, behaviour and symptoms become comprehensible. Cultural and personal splitting, denial and repression will continue to be forces to reckon with.

Unconscious motives for wanting analysis are presented here in a new paper by Henri Rey which takes further his 1988 paper, ‘That which patients bring to analysis'. He elaborates how dying (or dead) inner objects are brought into analysis to be rescued and repaired, and differentiates between schizoid repair and depressive reparation.

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