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Ginsburg, S.A. (1992). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXVII, 1991: Biblical Job: Changing the Helper's Mind. Jeffry J. Andresen. Pp. 454-481.. Psychoanal Q., 61:512.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXVII, 1991: Biblical Job: Changing the Helper's Mind. Jeffry J. Andresen. Pp. 454-481.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:512

Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXVII, 1991: Biblical Job: Changing the Helper's Mind. Jeffry J. Andresen. Pp. 454-481.

Sybil A.Y. Ginsburg

The fifth century B.C.E. poem of Job shows his transformation from "unknowing" suffering to an understanding of "God's view of creation." God caused Job numerous losses as a test of his devotion. His friends insisted that he must have sinned, but Job disagreed, and kept searching for meaning. He assessed his friends as having false sympathy and empty words, telling them to stop giving speeches, because if they were "at a loss for words" they might come upon truths. Eventually, God appeared to Job and directed him to become attuned to the majesty of creation, whereupon Job finally achieved peace through the "experience of awe."

The transformation of Job's world view is compared with the process of psychoanalysis, as well as with the dawning of consciousness in the infant and the development of the reality principle. The author discusses Winnicott's model of development via optimal frustration, as well as Klein's "depressive position." He also describes the formulations of Wilfred Bion, including his concepts of the "container-contained functions of the mind" and of maternal "reverie." Bion's theory of how the "suffering" of "not knowing" precedes a rewarding "transforming of awareness" is related to Job, as well as to the psychoanalytic situation. The ideas of the poet and philosopher Schiller concerning the relationship between sensations and significance are seen as concordant with those of Bion.


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Article Citation

Ginsburg, S.A. (1992). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXVII, 1991. Psychoanal. Q., 61:512

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.