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Del Rio, V.B. (1984). The “Real” Similarities and Differences in the Psychoanalytic Dyad. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 12(1):31-41.

(1984). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 12(1):31-41

The “Real” Similarities and Differences in the Psychoanalytic Dyad

Victor Bernal Y Del Rio, M.D.

This paper readdresses similarities and differences in the psychoanalytic dyad. I hope to refocus and eventually to inaugurate, in addition to case reports, thorough descriptions of all that is detectable through the visual field (physical characteristics, countenance, style of dress, etc.), not only of the patient, but of the analyst as well.

Eventually, habits, customs, and even beliefs of the analyst must also be described as they pertain to comparisons of such characteristics with the patient's own habits, customs, and beliefs or with those of earlier figures. Emphasis in case reports is usually placed on the reactions of the patients, but we are left guessing as to what pertinent detail, if any, the patient may be reacting to. Even descriptions of the waiting room, the office and its environs, may be relevant to interpretations as we evaluate reported cases. Descriptions of particularities perceived by the patient in the analyst may be important for the “creation,” “expression,” and “interpretation” of the transference. We may, for the sake of clarity, at first, refer exclusively to visual observations, but eventually we must note the customs, habits, and even beliefs of the analyst.

The history of our preferences is unknown to ourselves. Likes and dislikes, preferences and abhorrences are dictated by experience. Desire is prefaced by preference. Although “love” and “hate” seem to be the bastions of conviction, they are inevitably

The author is Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Institute of Psychiatry, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, San Juan, and in private practice.

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