Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see author affiliation information in an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To see author affiliation and contact information (as available) in an article, simply click on the Information icon next to the author’s name in every journal article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Bonovitz, C. (2009). Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Reexamination of Benjamin Wolstein's Interlock and the Emergence of Intersubjectivity. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(3):463-485.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(3):463-485

Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Reexamination of Benjamin Wolstein's Interlock and the Emergence of Intersubjectivity

Christopher Bonovitz

(Final acceptance date 8 November 2008)

In this paper the author takes a close look at Benjamin Wolstein's chapter, ‘Therapy’, from his book, Countertransference, published in 1959. This chapter contains a discussion of what he refers to as the interlock between analyst and patient, or today what we might describe as transference/countertransference enactment. The author shows how Wolstein's concept of the interlock and its relation to the analyst's countertransference was radical and innovative for its time. Wolstein's notion of a transference/countertransference interlock, along with the seminal contributions of Ferenczi and some of the early interpersonal theorists, anticipates the complexities of a two-person psychology and the entanglement which can occur from the intermingling of unconscious processes of analyst and patient in the experiential field. The author highlights three main ideas. First, the author provides a brief review of enactment with an emphasis on the role of the analyst's participation as conceptualized by the various theoretical perspectives. An historical context is given for Wolstein's clinical theorizing. Second, the author explicates Wolstein's concept of the interlock, with particular attention to the processes involved which account for the complexities it presents. Third, the author examines the ‘working through’ process, including the emergence of intersubjectivity in the resolution of the interlock. The author shows throughout Wolstein's emphasis on the influence of the analyst's personal psychology, mutuality, and intersubjectivity, all of which anticipated the gradual interpersonalization of psychoanalysis across the various schools of thought.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.