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Grossmark, R. (2012). The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(6):629-646.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(6):629-646

The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst

Robert Grossmark, Ph.D.

I describe an unobtrusive relational approach to the psychoanalytic treatment of nonalive and nonspeakable states and ways of being. I build upon a contemporary relational sensibility that values the intersubjective engagement of analyst and patient and the enactment of dissociated and unformulated states, together with the concepts of regression and the unobtrusive analyst central to the work of the British independent analysts, with a special focus on Michael and Enid Balint. I stress that in being unobtrusive, the analyst is not neutral or abstinent, but deeply engaged and becomes the analyst the patient needs. A case is offered as an account of analytic work that was enhanced and made possible by my engaged but unobtrusive presence, and the privileging of the patient's own idiom, object relating and early developmental needs. I offer a contemporary rendition of regression that encompasses mutuality, regulation and accompaniment. I suggest a concept of “benign regressive mutual regulation” and outline and differentiate some of the influences from the contemporary psychoanalytic field.

[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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