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Tip: To use Pocket to save bookmarks to PEP-Web articles…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

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Bassin, D. (2011). Reminiscence, Ritual, and Beyond Working Through: Commentary on Papers by Joyce Slochower and by Laura Impert and Margaret Rubin. Psychoanal. Dial., 21(6):707-718.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(6):707-718

Reminiscence, Ritual, and Beyond Working Through: Commentary on Papers by Joyce Slochower and by Laura Impert and Margaret Rubin

Donna Bassin, Ph.D.

The author examines, contextualizes, and elaborates upon Slochower's psychoanalytic exploration of commemorative rituals and, more specifically, the Jewish tradition of Yitzor as well as upon Impert and Rubin's understanding of embodied nostalgic reminiscences, considering them within a therapeutic context for the mourner entering into the clinical situation. Slochower's experience with commemorative rituals as facilitating environments for the restoration or support of potential space and memorial activity suggests that they can aid in the re-construction and re-shaping of emotional memory, going beyond a notion of “working through.” Impert and Rubin suggest that generative nostalgic reminisces, a soma-sensory based form of memory that holds the potential for activating arrested mourning, may be clinically usefully in awakening dormant or dissociated grief so that patients can access mourning. Extending upon these contributions, the author further considers the possibility that mourning might be more usefully conceived as processes of transformational work for which a fixed resolution or outcome is neither proscribed nor prescribed. This transformational work may be seen, in part, as ongoing cycles of self-surrender to the mourner's swirling constructions of attachments lost, re-found, re-remembered, and re-conceived.

[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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