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Stern, S. (2012). Unpacking Alchemy: Commentary on Paper by Noelle Burton. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(6):687-695.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(6):687-695

Unpacking Alchemy: Commentary on Paper by Noelle Burton

Steven Stern, Psy.D.

I appreciate Noelle Burton's courageous paper in which she movingly demonstrates how the analyst's opening to her own vulnerable child self, as evoked by the analytic interaction, creates parallel openings between the patient and analyst and within the patient. At the same time, I wonder if there is a not-fully-mentalized enactment occurring in the analytic process—an enactment that is reflected in certain aspects of Burton's clinical narrative. And I wonder if the containment of Burton's childlike feelings—a central focus of her paper—is even more interactive than she has recognized. These questions are, however, overshadowed by the paper's significant creative (clinical and conceptual) contribution.

[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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