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Rather, L. (2001). Collaborating with the Unconscious Other: The Analysand's Capacity for Creative Thinking. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(3):515-531.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(3):515-531

Collaborating with the Unconscious Other: The Analysand's Capacity for Creative Thinking

Lee Rather

The analysand's capacity for making use of psychoanalytic treatment has been a subject of importance since the beginning of psychoanalysis. The author addresses an aspect of the difficulty encountered by analysands in achieving a psychic state that allows the creative use of free association, dreams, parapraxes and other spontaneous phenomena occurring during the course of treatment. He suggests that a very specific state of mind is essential to both the psychoanalytic process and the creative process. Using theoretical concepts derived from Freud, Klein and Bion, he develops the idea of an internal object relationship, ‘the collaboration with the unconscious other’, which forms the basis for both creative thinking and the psychoanalytic function of the personality. Creative thinking is distinguished from artistic endeavour and discussed as a universal potential, on which growth in psychoanalysis depends. The term ‘unconscious other’ is meant to signify the subjective experience of a foreign presence within oneself from which both spontaneous creative inspiration and involuntary psychic phenomena are felt to emanate. The author presents clinical material to suggest that paranoid-schizoid and depressive anxieties form obstacles to collaborating with the unconscious other, and must be worked through in order to achieve an analytic process.

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