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Cavell, M. (1998). Suspended Attention, Models and Theories in the Psychoanalytic Perception Process. Harmuth König. Pp. 337-375. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):533-534.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Suspended Attention, Models and Theories in the Psychoanalytic Perception Process. Harmuth König. Pp. 337-375

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):533-534

Suspended Attention, Models and Theories in the Psychoanalytic Perception Process. Harmuth König. Pp. 337-375

Marcia Cavell

The perception process taking place in the mind of the analyst in the psychoanalytic situation is a constant oscillation between the temptation to be guided too much by theory and the dangers of trusting to feelings and intuition alone. In order to avoid the pitfalls of this Scylla and Charybdis situation and with a view to reconciling empathy and knowledge in such a way as to provide optimal access to the patient's unconscious, the author draws upon a model devised by Bion. König

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claims that Bion's model, an intermedium between affect and cognition, achieves the integration of evenly suspended attention and theory-guided perception by taking account of the patient's experiential objects while at the same time allowing scope for cognitive activity, a process which Bion calls “intervening phase.” König then briefly recounts a case study illustrating the possibility of achieving interpretations that combine both empathy and knowledge.

Article Citation

Cavell, M. (1998). Suspended Attention, Models and Theories in the Psychoanalytic Perception Process. Harmuth König.. Psychoanal. Q., 67(3):533-534

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