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Arnold, K. (2006). Reik's Theory of Psychoanalytic Listening. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(4):754-765.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(4):754-765

Reik's Theory of Psychoanalytic Listening

Kyle Arnold, M.A.

The present article attempts to systematize Reik's theory of psychoanalytic listening through a detailed reading of Listening with the Third Ear. Although Reik's work anticipated current debates on intersubjectivity, countertransfer-ence, and hermeneutics, it is rarely cited in contemporary literature. This article begins to lay the foundation for assessing Reik's contributions to psychoanalysis by clarifying his views. Reik's theory is organized around an emphasis on sequencing. Psychoanalytic listening has a natural sequence that begins with unconscious conjectures about patient's dynamics and ends with conscious case formulations. Psychoanalytic conjectures crystallize out of the intersubjective, reciprocal illumination of the therapist's and patient's unconscious minds. Psychotherapists understand patients most deeply by becoming conscious of their subjective reactions to patients and rigorously examining these reactions.

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