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Cooper, S.H. (2011). Introduction to Panel: Analytic Asymmetry and Collisions of Idealization. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(1):1-2.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(1):1-2

Editor's Note

Introduction to Panel: Analytic Asymmetry and Collisions of Idealization

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D.

Introduction to Panel: Analytic Asymmetry and Collisions of Idealization

Joyce Slochower interests us in the co-constructed nature of idealization, especially the analyst's investment and participation in idealization. The panel examines the relationship between the dyadic reality of analyst and patient and how this dyadic reality is in conversation with a professional community, a third of sorts. The other side of idealization, disillusionment is also explored.

The panel and conversation that follow allow us to ask and probe many questions about the relationship between Kahn and Winnicott and about the nature of idealization in analytic work.

Slochower aims to interest us in the co-constructed nature of idealizations, especially the analyst's investment and participation in idealization. The conversation that ensues also helps to illuminate the conflict about the need to idealize and the inevitable obliteration and destruction that may accompany or sometimes motivate idealization. Slochower and the panelists provide us with a view of how psychoanalysis, as it aims to explore the relentless emergence of the irrational, at the same time will enact and disavow the irrational.

Kohut's groundbreaking exploration of the myriad aspects of idealization allowed us to broaden simple and reductionist understandings of idealization as a defense against hostility or aggression. Yet this panel illuminates how the search for what we didn't have and feel that we need or want to give can never be one thing, one simple thing.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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