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Maduro, P. (2017). Theory and Patients as Friends to My Post-Election Shock. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(2):124-127.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(2):124-127


Theory and Patients as Friends to My Post-Election Shock

Peter N. Maduro, J.D., Psy.D., Psy.D.

Sunday, November 13, 2016. I got to reflecting this weekend on how my psychoanalytic theory, and many of my patients, have helped me contend with my own emotional reactions to the U.S. presidential election on November 8th, as well as with corresponding challenges in my clinical work. “Theory” and certain “patients” together have proved to be my personal and professional friends, supports, selfobjects, relational homes, partners in thought, emotional allies. With respect to these patients, they have helped me, and helped me to help them.

As to theory, my use of the idea of “transference”—by which, for current purposes, I mean the organization of experience both within and without the treatment setting in accord with archaic hopes and dreads—along with the important idea of “concretization,” namely, the symbolization of affective organizations in the imagery and narratives of time & space, have helped me to lift my personal and clinical self from a state of complete dissociation to a state of lesser dissociation. Coextensively, they have helped lift my therapeutic work from a level of “dissociated disarray” to a level of “alert acceptability.” With them in mind, I refound at least aspects of my daily therapeutic way.

The psychoanalytic scene today consists in the complexity of the 2016 election’s existential, historical, sociological, political … and personal meanings, and the multidimensional feelings in which these meanings are being “lived” in my own, my colleagues’, and my patients’ minds and bodies.

[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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