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Barnett, A.J. Katz, M. (2005). Prologue. Psychoanal. Inq., 25(4):409-417.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 25(4):409-417


Alan J. Barnett, Ph.D. and Montana Katz, Ph.D.

THIS ISSUE OF PSYCHOANALYTIC INQUIRY IS AN EXPANSION OF THE 31st annual conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) that took place on April 12, 2003, in New York City. The conference, titled “Analytic Positions in the Exploration of Emotional Memory,” was designed to invite participants to explore the ineffable aspects of transference. Ongoing developments in psychoanalytic theory, in combination with empirical research in cognate disciplines on early emotional development and memory, have led to a broadened view of unconscious processes that can contribute to transference meanings. However, distinct multiple conceptualizations of unconscious mental activities need to be cohesive in relation to an operational theory of treatment.

In clinical practice the patient's unconscious strivings to define the analyst in specific ways, conveyed by emotional attitudes and reaction patterns built up from infancy, thus not only pose therapeutic challenges but also highlight important theoretical dilemmas intrinsic to the psychoanalytic situation and process (Clyman, 1991; Fonagy, 1999; Davis, 2001; Rustin and Sekaer, 2004). A symposium dedicated to the recognition and collaborative investigation of these difficulties and dilemmas, it was hoped, might synthesize these related issues, pointing either to areas of emerging consensus across schools of psychoanalytic thought or perhaps to a forging of more comprehensive treatment theory.

The conference featured Lawrence Friedman as keynote speaker; Arnold Bernstein, Ted Shapiro, and Arnold Wilson as panelists; and Lawrence Hedges as moderator. In addition, there were workshop offerings representing a wide range of psychoanalytic perspectives on the topic. This is consistent with NAAP's mission to bring together psychoanalysts and recognized psychoanalytic institutes representing different schools of thought.

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