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Sandler, J. Sandler, A. (1994). Phantasy and its Transformations: A Contemporary Freudian View. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:387-394.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:387-394

Phantasy and its Transformations: A Contemporary Freudian View

Joseph Sandler and Anne-Marie Sandler

ABSTRACT

Over the past fifty years changes have occurred in the theoretical positions of the Contemporary Freudian and Klein groups in the British Society, but fundamental differences remain. This paper considers the meaning of the term 'the unconscious', with particular reference to the censorship lying between consciousness and the Preconscious system—or, in the authors' model, consciousness and the present unconscious. The distinction between the present unconscious and the past unconscious is described. Emphasis is placed on the difference between phantasies in the present unconscious, which exist in the 'here-and-now' and those in the past unconscious, which are for the most part reconstructions based—among other things—on the analyst's theories of mental functioning and of child development. Thus, transference phantasies are phantasies in the present unconscious. The authors go on to emphasise the implications of the distinction between the present and past unconsciouses for analytic work, stressing the need to focus on phantasies and associated conflicts in the present unconscious before turning their attention to reconstruction of the past. Finally, they point to the concept of dialogue with one's introjects (internal objects) as represented in unconscious phantasy, to the stabilising function of (present) unconscious phantasy and to the need to interpret conflict and resistance.

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