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Levenkron, H. (2009). Engaging the Implicit: Meeting Points between the Boston Change Process Study Group and Relational Psychoanalysis. Contemp. Psychoanal., 45(2):179-217.

(2009). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45(2):179-217

Engaging the Implicit: Meeting Points between the Boston Change Process Study Group and Relational Psychoanalysis

Holly Levenkron, L.I.C.S.W.

The Boston Change Process Group has presented a new model of therapeutic action based on implicit relational knowing. Derived from empirical studies of dyadic interaction between infants and their caretakers, the model is geared to the realities of clinical interaction and is consonant with theories of therapeutic action advanced within interpersonal and relational psychoanalysis. This article investigates the overlap between these traditions and the Boston Change Process Study Group, while highlighting differences in their respective approaches to actual clinical work, in particular regarding enactment, dissociation, and attunement. The author begins with a brief synopsis of the Boston Group's model. A short clinical vignette is offered, at first viewed through the Boston Group's language and, later, using the language of relational and interpersonal psychoanalysis. The author concludes that, while the BCPSG offers an important new way of understanding the implicit dimension in human interaction, the relational and interpersonal traditions advance important clinical and theoretical conceptions for engaging the implicit in treatment.

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