Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To receive notifications about new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to receive notifications about new content in PEP Web? For more information about this feature, click here

To sign up to PEP Web Alert for weekly emails with new content updates click click here.

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

Wilner, W. (1999). The Un-Consciousing of Awareness in Psychoanalytic Therapy. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(4):617-628.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(4):617-628

The Un-Consciousing of Awareness in Psychoanalytic Therapy

Warren Wilner, Ph.D.

ONE DAY, as I was dashing through a subway turnstile, only to see the train I was trying to catch leave the station, an elderly subway employee said to me, “well, you missed this train, but you're in time for the next one.” I realized much later that this anonymous sage of the underground had conveyed a powerful message, one I kept getting only in dribs and drabs, until it finally clicked with some things I was thinking about psychoanalysis.

This man brought into focus the idea that there is always something going on in analysis which is obscured by our concern to connect with some train of thought, or to catch some meaning, and by our worry that we will not become aware of something in a timely manner. Feeling bothered when these connections are not made, or when we fail to sense something that is later revealed to us as having been present earlier, further interferes with our ability to get in touch with this dimension of analytic ongoingness. Thus, when we actively try to grasp some meaning, to focus on an internal feeling, or simply to attend in a straight-forward way to what appear to be relevant analytic issues, it is difficult to realize at the same time that another issue or experience is likely to appear, and that there is an entirely different phenomenological dimension to be attuned to — one more akin to an ongoing psychic stream than to objective and subjective contents.

Psychoanalysis, from its original classical base, has developed in the positivistic tradition of observing and understanding the patient. Singly and in multiple constellations, there have always been many factors for analysts to try to apprehend; the analyst's inner experience has been attended to in order to refine this objective focus. The interpersonal and relational positions, with their emphasis on intersubjectivity, have brought additional foci to our attention.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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.