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Gargiulo, G.J. (2006). Introductory Remarks to Lost Voices/Found Words by Erika Duncan. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 3(3):255-255.

(2006). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 3(3):255-255

Introductory Remarks to Lost Voices/Found Words by Erika Duncan Related Papers

Gerald J. Gargiulo

Before psychoanalysis became an established therapy it was simply a discovery; Freud had observed that as individuals could allow themselves to hear what they were saying, they would know their world and themselves anew. He advised individuals who wanted to verify such a discovery, and who were not able to experience a formal psychoanalytic treatment, to write down their thoughts, their dreams, their memories, and their hopes. Erika Duncan has, for the past ten years, formed groups of women who do just that and who have, in the process, encountered themselves and their histories: what they have hidden from themselves and, in many cases, what they cannot forget. Ms Duncan has creatively crafted a safe and respectful space for groups, where personal support and sympathetic ears function much like an analyst's free hovering attention. She has developed a method of teaching, deceptively simple on first reading, enabling the participants to find words for their memories — good memories as well as painful ones. Sharing personal stories as relative strangers listen is remarkably similar to analytic hearing. And, as the following article makes clear, as the group hears and responds, each writer's trauma can be recalled without being re-experienced. Given a psychoanalytic clinician's training, the article may raise queries about how the group or the leaders address transference, countertransference, defenses, and/or interpretations. Without denying the value of such metaphorical concepts, it is not Ms Duncan's intention to reflect within such a clinical framework. The article provides fertile ground for the reader's own interests and reflections. The creative and insightful guidelines which are presented reaffirm the psychoanalytic premise that when human beings learn how to speak as well as listen to each other, with a modicum of care, the foundations of healing are set.

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