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Harrison, A.M. Tronick, E. (2011). “The Noise Monitor”: A Developmental Perspective on Verbal and Nonverbal Meaning-Making in Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 59(5):961-982.

(2011). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 59(5):961-982

“The Noise Monitor”: A Developmental Perspective on Verbal and Nonverbal Meaning-Making in Psychoanalysis

Alexandra M. Harrison and Ed Tronick

This paper discusses a contribution of developmental theory to the psychoanalytic concept of “the talking cure.” The developmental theory presented is the dyadic expansion of consciousness model (Tronick 2007), a model consistent with the principles of nonlinear systems theory. The concept of “polysemic bundles” as a way of understanding the multiple simultaneous meaning-making processes occurring in dyadic communication is introduced. The theoretical discussion—focused primarily on the analysis of children—is illustrated with descriptions of videotaped sequences from the first session in the analysis of a five-year-old boy. The relevance of these insights to the analytic treatment of adults is then considered.

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