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O'Shaughnessy, E. (1992). Enclaves and Excursions. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 73:603-611.

(1992). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 73:603-611

Enclaves and Excursions

Edna O'Shaughnessy

I wish to call attention to two hazards for the analyst intrinsic to the conduct of psychoanalysis. I shall name these 'enclaves' and 'excursions'. In the course of clinical work an analyst may be at risk of so responding to his patient that he forms an enclave, or takes an excursion out of analysis, and thereby deforms the psychoanalytic situation so that the therapeutic process is interfered with or even halted.

I shall first illustrate what I mean by an 'enclave' by describing the case of Miss A. An attractive woman in her thirties, Miss A wanted an analysis because, though successful in her career, her relationships with men were impermanent and her biological time was running out. At the start of the analysis, she and I seemed well attuned. An intricate exchange took place between us about her feelings and thoughts about herself, the new analysis and her analyst. These explorations were, in their way, valid, though I was aware after a while of the lack of unconscious depth in Miss A's communications, and how very personal, even intimate, her generally appreciative relationship to me was, and that while she expressed also some aggression, it had no real punch—though my sense of Miss A was of someone with powerful feelings.

I found I did not know what Miss A's unconscious phantasies were, or who or what I was as a transference object, or what connexions there were between the analysis and her past history. I made some tentative attempts to speak of myself as

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