Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To restrict search results by languageā€¦

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Search Tool allows you to restrict your search by Language. PEP Web contains articles written in English, French, Greek, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Haugsgjerd, S. (2016). Listening and the voice. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 39(1):80-83.

(2016). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 39(1):80-83

Listening and the voice

Svein Haugsgjerd

In order to reflect on the significance of hearing, the perception of sounds, in the analytic work, as a starting point, we might consider the difference between relating to the environment (Umwelt) through the eye and through the ear, respectively. In most everyday situations, the vision enjoys a privileged status when it comes to what we consider as knowledge and truth. We therefore tend, unquestioned, to regard what we hear as a mere supplement to what we see. Therefore, reality presents itself to us as a seemingly smooth audio-visual plenitude.

In psychoanalysis, we are confronted with the fact that this is not quite so. Words fail to describe our mental images, and what we hear is not always what meets the eye.

Eye to eye

Sitting vis-a-vis in psychotherapy, eye to eye, enhances the natural inclination to continually make assumptions about the other’s state of mind, seeking to avoid anxiety and seek for a situation of comfort, for instance, a state of mutual recognition. A turn-taking type of dialogue will naturally support the analysand’s construction of an unquestioned, anxiety-reducing understanding of the analyst and of the analytic couple’s common ‘reality’.

The psychoanalytic arrangement, with the analysand in supine position on the couch and the analyst sitting in an armchair behind, will automatically challenge this understanding on the analysand’s part, and provoke anxiety. This is the starting point for the analytic enterprise as ‘an experiment with truth’ (Leclaire, in Engelstad & Haugsgjerd, 1976).

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.