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Stolorow, R.D. (1984). Aggression in the Psychoanalytic Situation: An Intersubjective Viewpoint. Contemp. Psychoanal., 20:643-650.

(1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20:643-650

Aggression in the Psychoanalytic Situation: An Intersubjective Viewpoint

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.

IN THIS PAPER I SHALL APPLY the framework that George Atwood and I are developing called "psychoanalytic phenomenology, " and in particular our conception of the psychoanalytic situation as a continuously shifting intersubjective field, to the problem of aggression in the psychoanalytic stuation.

Our thesis, elaborated in detail in our book Structures of Subjectivity(1984), is that psychoanalytic treatment seeks to illuminate phenomena that emerge within a specific psychological field created by a dialogue between two subjectivities—that of the patient and that of the analyst. In this conceptualization, psychoanalysis is not seen as a science of the intrapsychic, focused on events presumed to occur within one isolated "mental apparatus." Nor is it conceived as a social science, investigating the "behavioral facts" of the therapeutic interaction as seen from a point of observation outside the field under study. Rather, psychoanalysis is pictured by us as a science of the intersubjective, focused on the interplay between the differently organized subjective worlds of the observer and the observed.

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