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Ferguson, H. (2018). The Analyst’s Affect: The Way Back from Gridlock, Blindspots, and Loss of Vitality. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 13(1):6-12.

(2018). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 13(1):6-12


The Analyst’s Affect: The Way Back from Gridlock, Blindspots, and Loss of Vitality

Heather Ferguson, LCSW

In this clinical account, my dream life and my patient’s highlight unformulated affects which contribute to therapeutic gridlock. Six years into our once captivating work, foggy deadness envelops us, rendering us confused about the loss of our passionate engagement. I grapple with my contribution to our stalemate and the ensuing collapse of reflective space by recognizing my discomfort with the patient’s seemingly frozen, deadened state. A potent dream arrives for the patient and, then, for me, which revitalizes self-reflection and dialogue. As part of our reparative process, I share my dream and we explore its intersubjective meanings, reestablishing mutuality and empathic understanding. Our reciprocal dream life becomes the site of renewed connection, mutual vulnerability, and vital witnessing.

[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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