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Tubert-Oklander, J. (2006). On the Inherent Relationality of the Unconscious: Reply to Commentary. Psychoanal. Dial., 16:227-239.

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(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16:227-239

On the Inherent Relationality of the Unconscious: Reply to Commentary Related Papers

Juan Tubert-Oklander, M.D. Author Information

Because I consider the unconscious to be inherently relational, I do not see a need to use the term relational unconscious, where unconscious would suffice. The unconscious is defined by its inaccessibility; it underlies all human affairs, irrespective of the number of people involved. The minimum unit of observation in clinical psychoanalysis includes two people and a context. My approach to the interpretive process is that of a free-floating dialogue between analyst and patient, a verbal play, equivalent to Winnicott's “squiggle game,” which allows the emergence of a new pattern in their mutual communication, thus developing new meanings. The interpretive process is, therefore, an unconscious mental evolution, independent from both parties' conscious will and control, which generates an ever-increasing awareness in their relation. The interweaving of their mental processes generates shared unconscious bastions of resistance, which need be identified and analyzed. This is a universal phenomenon, a necessary phase in the development of insight.

I discuss the reviewer's comments and additional interpretations of the underlying dynamics of the clinical vignette presented in my original article, showing their points of agreement and disagreement.

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