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Benjamin, J. (2006). Crash: What We Do When We Cannot Touch: Commentary on Paper by Meira Likierman. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(4):377-385.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(4):377-385

Crash: What We Do When We Cannot Touch: Commentary on Paper by Meira Likierman Related Papers

Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.

This commentary aims to show the congruence and difference between Likierman's position on recognizing otherness and working with enactment and her relational, intersubjective position. Differences in my reading of the case include stressing the repetition of early attachment trauma, the level of implicit procedural relating, and the patient's contribution to the shared third of rupture and repair. I try to show that enactments arise not merely because the patient is able to pull the patient into forbidden behavior but because the dissociated parts of the patient pull the analyst into dissociation even when the analyst is acting “properly.” The rupture or collision—the “crash”—that the patient helps to formulate represents an opportunity to see the life-giving element in what we, analysts along with patients, inevitably also experience as frightening and even life-threatening.

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