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Pizer, B. (2002). Blowin' in the Wind—Considering the Impact of “Inadvertent Touch” Commentary on Paper by Graham Bass. Psychoanal. Dial., 12(5):837-846.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 12(5):837-846

Blowin' in the Wind—Considering the Impact of “Inadvertent Touch” Commentary on Paper by Graham Bass Related Papers

Barbara Pizer, Ed.D., ABPP

In my discussion of Graham Bass's paper, my comments fall under three main categories: an aspect of Bass's theoretical/technical view that informs his conscious clinical choices, his incredible work with Robert as presented in the written case, and, finally, theory in practice as exemplified in his phrase, “inadvertent touch.” I mean for my perspective and the purely personal associations that are stimulated by this case to evoke further discussion and, in general, open some sort of useful dialogue. I believe that anybody who sits with severely dissociated patients would agree that, side-by-side with the necessary terror creeping around in the room, we often experience a confusing, sometimes even silly, “higgledy-piggledy” that seems pathognomonic to the work entailed. This weird experience seems, almost, to set our sense of continuity and logic on its edge. When reading Bass's paper, we must, to maintain our equilibrium, begin by taking for granted some of the contradictory, nonlinear aspects of his reporting, which is, after all, an accurate reflection of what happens in this work. At the level of theory in practice, I consider the implications for symbolic realization in the clinical process when touch need not be relegated to the category of the “inadvertent.”

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