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Ogden, T.H. (2004). The Analytic Third: Implications for Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique. Psychoanal Q., 73:167-195.

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(2004). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 73(1):167-195

The Analytic Third: Implications for Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

Thomas H. Ogden, M.D.

The author views the analytic enterprise as centrally involving an effort on the part of the analyst to track the dialectical movement of individual subjectivity (of analyst and analysand) and intersubjectivity (the jointly created unconscious life of the analytic pair—the analytic third). In Part I of this paper, the author discusses clinical material in which he relies heavily on his reverie experiences to recognize and verbally symbolize what is occurring in the analytic relationship at an unconscious level. In Part II, the author conceives of projective identification as a form of the analytic third in which the individual subjectivities of analyst and analysand are subjugated to a co-created third subject of analysis. Successful analytic work involves a superseding of the subjugating third by means of mutual recognition of analyst and analysand as separate subjects and a reappropriation of their (transformed) individual subjectivities.

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