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Killingmo, B. (2004). Commentary: Ready for departure?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(2):264-268.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(2):264-268

Commentary: Ready for departure?

Bjørn Killingmo

Dr Symington starts by telling us that his patient Lawrence looked piercingly at him when he came to the analysis on 23 December 2002. I think that this is a point to note. What was the part of Lawrence that was looking and what was this part looking for? Stated on a conceptual level: What kind of relational scenario between self-representation and object-representation in Lawrence was actualised and unconsciously transferred to the therapeutic relationship on entering the consulting room that last session before Christmas (summer) holiday? This will be the overriding perspective I shall comment on in Dr Symington's analytic interaction with Lawrence.

Generally, I think that the first substantial interpretation an analyst makes in a session has a strong impact upon the direction of the material to follow. So, how does the discourse start? Lawrence opens by telling his analyst that recently he has not worked as feverishly as he usually does. Instead, he has delegated work to other people in his agency. The analyst takes this as a sign that Lawrence is less driven. So he responds by a kind of affirmative feedback: ‘So you can trust more’. The key word is ‘trust’. To understand why the analyst chooses precisely this word, we have to take into account Lawrence's background.

Lawrence lived at his grandmother's home until the age of 5. Then he had to move to his parents' place and never saw his warm and beloved grandmother again. His own mother was cold and remote.

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