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Jacobs, L. (2011). Resurrecting the Buried Self: Fairy Tales and the Analytic Encounter. Psychoanal. Rev., 98(6):871-890.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Review, 98(6):871-890

Resurrecting the Buried Self: Fairy Tales and the Analytic Encounter

Linda Jacobs, Ph.D.

The author uses the lens of myth and fairy tales to examine the narratives generated by the analytic experience. Fairy tales are understood as representing fundamental developmental conflicts, accounting for their enduring power over time. The analytic encounter is seen as an analogue of the fairy tale in which the hidden self, damaged by loss and abandonment, reemerges only through the redemptive power of [an] other's love. Clinical material is presented in which hidden parts of the patient's self are projected into the analyst for safekeeping; these hidden parts resonate with the analyst's own lost, unrealized potential and form an intersubjective experience which the author believes is transformative. The patient's dormant powers emerge in a newly experienced atmosphere of recognition, and in this way, the analytic encounter resembles the fairy tale in providing an identificatory bond and a protective space for the patient's hidden vitality.

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