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Baranger, M. (1993). The Mind of the Analyst: From Listening to Interpretation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:15-24.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:15-24

The Mind of the Analyst: From Listening to Interpretation Language Translation

Madeleine Baranger


The analyst demands two somewhat contradictory attitudes of himself: on the one hand, he listens and interprets on the basis of his theoretical knowledge, experiences and scheme of reference and, on the other, he must open himself to the new, the unforseen and the surprising.

His work, from listening to interpretation, is situated within a context that includes the history of the treatment as well as the history of the analysand, which is in the process of reconstruction. This context determines the moment of the interpretation (which may vary), i.e. the point ot urgency of a given session.

This point denotes the moment when something emerges from the unconscious of the analysand and the analyst believes that it must be interpreted. It is something that occurs within the intersubjective field, which embraces both participants and has its own, partly unconscious, dynamics. This configuration or unconscious fantasy of the field constitutes the common source from which both the discourse of one partner and the other's interpretation spring.

The moments of blockage in the dynamics of the field, the obstacles in the analytic process, invite every analyst to take a 'second look' at the field, focusing on the unconscious intersubjective relationship which determines it.

Focused either on the analysand or on the field, the interpretation can perform its two dialectically complementary functions: it may irrupt into the disguises of the patient's unconscious, or it may allow hium to synthesise and reconstruct his history and identity.

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