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Jacobs, T.J. (1997). In Search Of The Mind Of The Analyst: A Progress Report. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:1035-1059.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:1035-1059

In Search Of The Mind Of The Analyst: A Progress Report

Theodore J. Jacobs

Theodore J. Jacobs

Certain difficulties arise in the positions of both those who embrace the intersubjective approach in psychoanalysis and those who oppose it. Various factors that have led to misunderstandings on both sides of the question are identified, and several recent studies highlighting the importance of unconscious communication both in development and in clinical work are cited to buttress the argument that efforts to understand the mind of the analyst as it registers and resonates with this kind of communication open a still insufficiently explored pathway to the unconscious of the patient, one that may lead to major advances in analytic technique.

Over the past two decades, unparalleled interest has developed in the question of the analyst's subjectivity. All around us—at meetings, in the hallways and corridors of our institutes, in curbside discussions and more formal presentations—analysts have been debating the validity and implications of an increasingly prevalent view of the analytic situation. Simply put, it is this: that analysis is an undertaking that inevitably involves two people—two minds, two hearts, two life histories in dynamic interaction—and that unconscious communications transmitted from both participants, and not solely those arising from the inner world of the patient, contribute in significant ways to the analytic process. And everywhere these days we encounter language that seeks to describe one or another aspect of the interplay between patient and analyst: enactments, intersubjectivity, social constructionism, the analytic dyad, the interactive matrix, and

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Institute and NYU Psychoanalytic Institute.

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