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Busch, F. (2004). Response. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(3):575-577.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(3):575-577

Response Related Papers

Fred Busch

In her response to my paper Betty Joseph reflects on a patient's dream, and by doing so captures the essence of what I addressed in my paper on consciousness. In this dream the patient is on one side of a large place, her analyst is on the other side talking on the phone to someone else in order to get help. The patient feels that ‘something was going wrong’. Let us approach this with Freud—the analyst turns her ‘own unconscious like a receptive organ towards the transmitting unconscious of the patient’ by adjusting herself ‘to the patient as a telephone receiver is adjusted to the transmitting microphone’ (1912, p. 115 f). The dream seems to demonstrate exactly this, and presumably Joseph's unconscious has received something right. However, the dream also tells us that something goes wrong, and it is my understanding that the patient saying this has to do with the communication from the analyst to the patient. Far away from her patient, Joseph talks to someone else on the phone, not to the patient's conscious or preconscious ego on the other side of this place.

Thus, Joseph's clinical vignette is helpful in picturing our different ways of thinking based on the presence or absence of Freud's structural model, especially the role of the ego in mental life. She describes a case that seems to be at an impasse. In the fourth year of analysis the patient's associations still seem ‘repetitive and superficial’, and she doesn't meaningfully respond to her analyst's interpretations.

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