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Makari, G. Shapiro, T. (1993). On Psychoanalytic Listening: Language and Unconscious Communication. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:991-1020.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:991-1020

On Psychoanalytic Listening: Language and Unconscious Communication

George Makari, M.D. and Theodore Shapiro, M.D.


The authors review past and recent perspectives on psychoanalytic listening, then present a synthetic model founded on psycholinguistics and semiotics. They argue that the analytic listening process can be broken down into nonlinguistic communications and—most important—linguistic categories pertaining to narrativity, symbolic reference, form, and interactive conventions. In each of these areas of signification, the authors present the ways in which the technique of psychoanalytic listening attends to unconscious meanings, thereby differing from ordinary listening which "hears," at best, only denotative and connotative meanings.

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