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Lemma, A. (2014). The Body of the Analyst and the Analytic Setting: Reflections on the Embodied Setting and the Symbiotic Transference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(2):225-244.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(2):225-244

The Body of the Analyst and the Analytic Setting: Reflections on the Embodied Setting and the Symbiotic Transference Language Translation

Alessandra Lemma

(Accepted for publication 18 June 2013)

In this paper the author questions whether the body of the analyst may be helpfully conceptualized as an embodied feature of the setting and suggests that this may be especially helpful for understanding patients who develop a symbiotic transference and for whom any variance in the analyst's body is felt to be profoundly destabilizing. In such cases the patient needs to relate to the body of the analyst concretely and exclusively as a setting ‘constant’ and its meaning for the patient may thus remain inaccessible to analysis for a long time. When the separateness of the body of the analyst reaches the patient's awareness because of changes in the analyst's appearance or bodily state, it then mobilizes primitive anxieties in the patient. It is only when the body of the analyst can become a dynamic variable between them (i.e. part of the process) that it can be used by the patient to further the exploration of their own mind.

[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.]

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