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Norman, J. (1989). The Analyst's Visual Images and the Child Analyst's Trap. Psychoanal. St. Child, 44:117-135.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 44:117-135

Clinical Contributions

The Analyst's Visual Images and the Child Analyst's Trap

Johan Norman, M.D.


The analyst's experience is different with an adult and a child. One element that constitutes the difference is that the analyst while listening

to the adult can become aware of visual images which are created as a continuous commentary to the analysand's material, while the corresponding phenomenon in the child analyst is an emotional commentary. The child can break through the analyst's defenses and catch him in a trap consisting of his own unintegrated, phase-specific emotions and at the same time inhibited ability to introspect. Case material from adult and child analysis is presented to describe these phenomena and to demonstrate how the analyst's visual images in adult analysis and emotional states in child analysis can constitute a central element in the analyst's concept of the analysand.

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