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da Silva, M.C. (2017). The Analyst's Narrative Function: Inventing a Possibility. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(1):21-38.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(1):21-38

Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

The Analyst's Narrative Function: Inventing a Possibility

Maria Cecília Pereira da Silva

(Accepted for publication 20 May 2016)

This article describes a psychic function common to analysts that was gradually revealed through clinical work with children. It is a psychic quality derived from function a, which involves analysts' capacity for reverie - their narrative function. The author presents two clinical situations where this function developed in the analytic field in relation to patients' difficulty in symbolizing. In the first case there was an early traumatic experience unavailable for representation. The analyst lent the patient her ability to represent and produced a narrative that made it possible to create a world of phantasies and transform nightmares into ‘dreamable’ dreams. In other words, she removed the quality of unbearable, irrepresentable reality that characterized those raw experiences encrypted in the psyche. In the second case the analyst's narrative function sought to connect with the isolation, the shell that housed a child suffering from an autistic disorder whose ability to represent had not been established. The analyst provided meaning for the patient's repetitive, stereotyped play, thus weaving the child's subjectivity and gradually introducing a notion of alterity. The author seeks to show how this function, in the thematic construction of the session, facilitated both the working-through of a traumatic situation (with the ability to share representations) and the constitution of the psychic fabric.

[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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