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Jaffe, D.S. Naiman, J. (1978). Plenary Session on 'Affects and the Psychoanalytic Situation'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:7-18.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:7-18

Plenary Session on 'Affects and the Psychoanalytic Situation'

Daniel S. Jaffe and James Naiman

Introductory remarks were made by André Green, who stated that there would be no reading of the prepublished papers (Green, 1977); (Arlow, 1977); (Limentani, 1977), but that each speaker would comment on his own paper, then on the papers of the others. In the afternoon session the Chairman would make some opening remarks, following which there would be discussion from the floor. At the end of the day each speaker would comment and synthesize.

The session then proceeded to a presentation by Jacob Arlow, who stated that he had restricted the scope of his presentation quite rigorously to affects in the psychoanalytic situation. He anticipated that there would be questions on the role of biological, neurophysiological and evolutionary factors. Fresh interest in these subjects has been stimulated by recent research on psychoanalysis and neurophysiology by Pribram. Dement, Fisher, Hartmann and Gill, and on communications theory by Basch and Peterfreund.

The psychoanalytic situation is not only our therapeutic instrument, it is our principal and specifically idiosyncratic investigative tool. Because of its dynamic, sensitive nature, the psychoanalytic situation does not offer a sufficiently reliable setting in which to correlate subtle neurophysiological events which accompany our patients' associations. In regard to the communications theory approach, in a recent publication Basch re-emphasizes the adaptive evolutionary significance of affective expression as a special type of communication between mother and child, a communication which serves to guarantee the infant's survival.

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