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Mitrani, J.L. (2001). ‘Taking the Transference’ Some Technical Implications in three Papers by Bion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(6):1085-1104.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(6):1085-1104

‘Taking the Transference’ Some Technical Implications in three Papers by Bion

Judith L. Mitrani, Ph.D.

In this clinical paper, the author presents a coherent model for conceptualising the process of establishing a ‘containing object’ in the mind of the analysand throughout the course of analysis. The technical implications offered in this model derive mainly from concepts and notions put forward in three papers by Wilfred Bion and explicated by the present author: ‘A theory of thinking(1962/1988), in which Bion emphasises what he calls ‘realistic projective identification’, which functions as an unconscious form of communication to and calls for understanding on the part of the analyst that is aimed towards the development of thoughts and an apparatus with which to think thought; ‘Notes on memory and desire(1967/1988), in which he sets forth some ‘rules’ for the analytic work that is centred on the ‘here and now’ of the evolving therapeutic interaction; and his paper on ‘Evidence’ (1976/1987), wherein he focuses on the ‘fact’ of the individual analyst's emotional experience. The author also demonstrates, through the presentation of four detailed vignettes, some of the ways in which the analytic process may fail or succeed, highlighting the import of the analyst's capacity for ‘reverie’, ‘transformation’, and ‘publication'—all aspects of the containing function. In addition, she further expands upon Bion's work with a discussion of the essentials of ‘taking the transference’ and differentiates between two main dimensions of interpretation, ‘projective’ and ‘introjective’.

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