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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

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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Symington, N. (1996). An Inquiry into Mental Processes Commentary on Paper by Slochower. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(3):355-360.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(3):355-360

An Inquiry into Mental Processes Commentary on Paper by Slochower Related Papers

Neville Symington, B.S.c, D.C.P.

Iapproach this subject from a perspective that is differ ENT from that of Joyce Slochower. I have deliberately high lighted the differences between her perspective and mine because comparative study helps to clarify thinking.

The Goal of Psychoanalysis

In the last sentence of her essay, Slochower defines the goal of the psychoanalytic process: “The ultimate goal of such a process is the development of a capacity to be with both the self and with the analyst in a truly intersubjective way.” I would say that this is not the goal of the process but one of its consequences. I would define the goal of the process thus: To acquire insight into inner mental life with the aim of fostering its development. Therefore, I do not get an insight into the inner mental life of the two patients whom Slochower quotes except through personal inference. For example, Slochower explains that Sarah was extremely sensitive to her analyst's emotional states (which she describes well so it is easy to imagine being in her shoes and treating such a patient). No discussion follows, however, of why Sarah was so sensitive to the analyst's emotional states. Slochower therefore introduces us to the intersubjective phenomenology without taking us further into the patient's inner mental life.

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