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Karamanolaki, H. (2008). Clinical Notes on the Inner Experiences of the Analyst. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 17(1):44-50.

(2008). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 17(1):44-50

Clinical Notes on the Inner Experiences of the Analyst

Hara Karamanolaki, M.D.

(Received 15 May 2007; accepted 29 June 2007)

This paper suggests that the understanding of intersubjectivity, which refers to “the dynamic interplay between the analyst's and the patient's subjective experiences in the clinical situation”, is crucial for psychoanalytic work. The analyst's inner experiences, from the first moment that he or she thinks about or meets the patient, belong to an intersubjective situation. Not only are these experiences a valuable channel through which the inner experiences of the patient can be understood, but—as Theodore Jacobs puts it—they are often complementary to that which comes from the patient. The author tries to illustrate the above through the study of the analytic process in the psychoanalytic therapy of a severely disturbed patient. This therapy from its very early phase led to the reawakening of some of the analyst's old conflicts. The patient's difficulties in tolerating the limits of the analytic setting and using free association are discussed, as are his enactments. The analyst's close observation of the interaction between her and the patient, the permanent engagement with her countertransference, and the use of her inner experiences with the patient helped her to contain the enactments, defined the nature of her interventions, and contributed to the analytic process.

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