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Miller, P. Aisenstein, M. (2004). On analytic listening. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(6):1485-1488.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(6):1485-1488

On analytic listening

Reported by:
Patrick Miller

Moderator Marilia Aisenstein

The moderator recalled briefly how A. Damasio in his lecture the day before developed the highly complex relationships between brain, mind and body. This complexity is involved in analytic listening, implying, among other things, that neutrality is anything but neutral.

There seems to be, among all three panellists, an agreement on the notion that all patients are difficult to reach, including the patient within the analyst. How do we allow, in and through the analytic work, for understanding and feeling to come together, for cognition and emotion, thought and affect, to work together rather than be split off? These questions seem to be common ground. They seem to agree that no matter how solid and necessary a theoretical equipment each has acquired and is constantly referring to, implicitly or explicitly, while listening, the analyst works with his most inner being, trying to allow for an opening up enabling an analytic encounter and communication with the patient's subjectivity, rather than the analyst narcissistically defending his own territory.

Cláudio Laks Eizirik, in trying to understand why analytic listening is so difficult, focuses on the ability for the analyst to ‘build with each patient a specific analytic field’. He insists on the importance to maintain at the horizon of our analytical thinking the fundamental notions introduced by Freud as paramount to the specificity of analytic listening: free-floating attention and neutrality, echoing what is asked from the patient: free association.

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