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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Jacobs, T.J. (1992). Isakower's Ideas of the Analytic Instrument and Contemporary Views of Analytic Listening. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 1(2):237-241.

(1992). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 1(2):237-241

Contemporary Reflections on the Analyzing Instrument

Isakower's Ideas of the Analytic Instrument and Contemporary Views of Analytic Listening

Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D.

Although in recent years there has been much interest in analytic listening and in the role that the analyst's subjective experiences plays in the analytic process, the seminal contributions that Otto Isakower made in this area have been largely overlooked. Rarely are Isakower's views cited, and little effort has been made to relate them to contemporary ideas about analytic listening or the analyst's use of himself.

Isakower's views, however, are extremely interesting, particularly if one compares them to certain prevailing notions about the analyst's functioning in the analytic hour. Kohut (1971) for instance, focuses on the importance of empathy, by which he means the analyst's ability, through a process of vicarious introspection, to put himself in the shoes of the patient and to know what he is experiencing. Gill (1982) and Schwaber (1983) on the other hand put greater emphasis on a kind of listening that attends closely to the way in which the patient experiences the analyst's communications.

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