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Brown, L.J. (2009). From “Disciplined Subjectivity” to “Taming Wild Thoughts”: Bion's Elaboration of the Analysing Instrument. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 18(2):82-85.

(2009). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 18(2):82-85

From “Disciplined Subjectivity” to “Taming Wild Thoughts”: Bion's Elaboration of the Analysing Instrument

Lawrence J. Brown, Ph.D.

Freud encouraged the analyst to use his unconscious “as an instrument of the analysis,” but did not elaborate on how this should be done. This recommendation opened the door to a consideration of unconscious communication between the analyst and patient as an intersubjective exchange. Both Wilfred Bion and Erik Erikson emphasised the importance of the analyst's intuition, and the author compares and contrasts these two approaches. Erikson advocated a more cautious attitude regarding the analyst's subjectivity, while Bion promoted a broader application of the analyst's various private reactions to the analysand. A brief vignette from the analysis of a five-year-old boy is offered to illustrate the importance of the analyst's reveries, the mutual process of containment and transformation between analyst and patient, and the co-creation of an analytic narrative.

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