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Raphael-Leff, J. (2004). Unconscious Transmissions Between Patient and Pregnant Analyst. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):317-330.

(2004). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):317-330

Unconscious Transmissions Between Patient and Pregnant Analyst

Joan Raphael-Leff

It is suggested that when two people in close proximity are each experiencing processes of heightened perceptiveness, the likelihood of an interplay of unconscious communication increases. In analysis, coconstructed emotional configurations of transference-countertransference further contribute to the intersubjective exchange. By focusing on generic anxieties related to pregnancy, this paper broadens the discussion beyond synchronization of the intra-interpsychic dynamics of one particular case in which the pregnant analyst's amplified receptivity to unconscious process in herself and others is matched by the acute sensitivity of a borderline patient tuning into her therapist's intrapsychic world. The triple focus here is on the unconscious dialogue as a product of intermingling effects on patients of the analyst's pregnancy (disclosure of her sexuality, her liminality, her two-in-one numinosity, and her archaic life-bearing death-dealing powers); the influence of pregnancy on the therapist herself (her heightened intuition, slippage, and unconscious transmissions of introspection as she grapples with “procreative mysteries,” including anxieties of formation, containment-preservation, transformation and separation); and, finally, the impact of patients on the pregnant analyst (her

susceptibility to the unremitting presence and defensive deflection of intrusive projections into her inner world by hypersensitive others). It is suggested that the analyst's pregnancy offers a window to the bilateral processes of unconscious communication often obscured in psychoanalytic theorizing by caution and resistances.

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