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Arundale, J. (1996). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 13(2):161-162.

(1996). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 13(2):161-162


Jean Arundale

In our pluralistic times we have so many different models of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in existence that it can be difficult to see overall trands, changes or even practices that we all share. It is possible, however, to see a movement in psychoanalytic thinking away from a positivistic scientific model in which insight or clinical fact is discerned by an objective analyst and then delivered to the patient, towards a model in which psychic truth is reached mutually, created by the clinical couple in the ongoing therapeutic dialogue. Paving the pathway to this progression has been the validation and development of the countertransference not only as a communicative function but as representing the contribution and inclusion of the mind of the analyst. This intersubjective view in which the analyst's and patient's subjective responses to each other create symbol and meaning might well cause confusion and alarm, threatening to shake the analyst out of his safe, shadowy neutrality and edging him into a less comfortable, intersubjective spotlight. This anti-authoritarian move would appear to be immensely destabilizing, for who is the ultimate arbiter of the truth when there are disagreements? Yet it is difficult to see the analytic situation as other than an intersubjective project, given that there are two minds at work, or how else to construe the interaction other than as the therapist and patient taking in each other's projections, adding something to them, then giving them back for further elaboration until truth is found - a joint creative effort.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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