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Benitez-Bloch, R. (2002). The Music of What Happens: A Clinician's Development Using Patient as Object. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(4):617-625.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 22(4):617-625

The Music of What Happens: A Clinician's Development Using Patient as Object

Rosalyn Benitez-Bloch, D.S.W.

New Insights and Perspectives come about in the Process of Making use of the objects in one's life. One such object may be a therapist. The patient may use the therapist as a real new object or as a projected internal object. Transference is a one-person subjective experience with an inner object. Martin Bergman (1987) likened the transference to a hot house, a deliberately intensified climate that, by its heightened concentration, is designed to ripen regression through intense displacements of fear, hatred, envy, and love, in order to work through conflicts with one's internal objects. On the other hand, “the use of an object,” a term introduced by Winnicott (1971), refers to a two-person relationship. Rather than Winnicott's concept of the patient's use of the object in which he describes growth by a process which symbolically destroys the object (p. 90), I have experienced something closer to Bollas's (1989) idea of use of the object. His is a broader and more expansive definition that more aptly addresses the unfolding process I describe: The presence of the object elicits desire. Here desire is the urge to initiate an active use of the object, whether that is to make love to the object, read to the object, or listen to the object (p. 110).


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