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Lewin, S. (2011). Reply to Commentaries. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(5):589-592.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(5):589-592

Reply to Commentaries

Stephanie Lewin, Ph.D.

In this brief reply I describe an implicit clinical focus within my paper that both reviews have helped me to perceive. This focus is upon schizoid functioning—more specifically upon the search for nontraumatic, yet resonant, experiences of two-person intimacy within the insulated bubble of a schizoid transference. I integrate this implicit focus with the rich commentary provided by both reviewers— first with Dr. Carnochan's assertion that my work is part of a trend toward the cross-fertilization of Kleinian and relational approaches; then with Dr. Lovett's creative deconstruction of my terminology (i.e., the “physical” and “visual” automatic link between introjection and internalization). I return for a third time to the concept of schizoid transference in engaging with Dr. Lovett's uncertainty as to the need for new terminology to describe processes of introjection—specifically the terms penetrating/nonpenetrating. This was extremely helpful, as it triggered my awareness that, for me, the most valuable aspect of the term “penetrating” here is its evocative quality (i.e., penetration can potentially imply “intrusion” or even “violation”). Thinking in these terms increased my sensitivity to the sufferings and fears of the two patients presented here. In this sense perhaps penetrating/nonpenetrating identification does not need to be seen as a singular phenomenon, but rather as a new and helpful lens through which the vicissitudes of projective identification can be viewed—a lens that emphasizes the backdrop of perpetually feared violation which characterizes the schizoid patient's world and transference.

[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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