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Knoblauch, S.H. (2011). Contextualizing Attunement Within the Polyrhythmic Weave: The Psychoanalytic Samba. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(4):414-427.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(4):414-427

Contextualizing Attunement Within the Polyrhythmic Weave: The Psychoanalytic Samba

Steven H. Knoblauch, Ph.D.

Privileging stillness as a central strategy in the activity of the psychoanalyst is questioned as the only effective clinical strategy for optimizing a psychoanalytic focus. Stillness is demonstrated to have an array of potential affective impact as opposed to the traditional assumption of neutral impact or the creation of a space for meaning to emerge. An example of the duration of silence is used to illustrate that attention to the polyrhythmic weave of timing in the interactions constituted by analysand and analyst can prove to be at least as rich a fulcrum for generating meaning in the psychoanalytic process as a strategy of sustaining silence as space for transference projections by the analysand or reverie for the analyst. The impact of cultural practices and beliefs is further considered for how these can shape the scope and focus of analytic attention. In particular, the concept of attunement is revisited to demonstrate how a particular cultural perspective, which privileges a linear concept of time and timing, could fail to recognize the generation of subtle affective meanings from the polyrhythmic weave of timing including matching and mismatching, a more complex and richer focus for analytic attention than just a moment of matching.

[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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