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Agatsuma, S. (2014). Differentiating Two Kinds of Neutrality. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 23(4):238-245.

(2014). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 23(4):238-245

Differentiating Two Kinds of Neutrality

Soh Agatsuma

Neutrality is a most important concept, yet a controversial one. Theorists of different analytic schools have defined it in their own terms, leaving behind them a legacy of disparate and often contradictory formulations. In this paper, the author reviews briefly some of these ideas about neutrality. Then, from a contemporary interpersonal/relational perspective, the author takes a new look at the idea of neutrality. The author points out how unacknowledged discrepancies among these ideas get in the way of understanding and so complicate analytic discourse, and argues that useful work with this concept requires that analysts differentiate between two aspects of neutrality, specifically operational neutrality and intentional neutrality. The theoretical discussion is followed by a case vignette illustrating the clinical usefulness of this differentiation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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