Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To find a specific quote…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Trying to find a specific quote? Go to the Search section, and write it using quotation marks in “Search for Words or Phrases in Context.”

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

Sabbadini, A. (1989). Boundaries of Timelessness. Some Thoughts about the Temporal Dimension of the Psychoanalytic Space. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:305-313.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:305-313

Boundaries of Timelessness. Some Thoughts about the Temporal Dimension of the Psychoanalytic Space

Andrea Sabbadini


The psychoanalytic situation can be usefully observed from the perspective of its specific temporal structure, consisting of a complex inter-connexion of different temporalities. I stress the importance of interpreting the mental events happening around the temporal boundaries between the analyst's consulting room and the outside world.

Time plays a key role in psychoanalysis—a process which is always terminated, while being intrinsically interminable—because bringing about change is one of its fundamental therapeutic functions and because the transference operates according to temporally-determined mechanisms, such as regression and repetition, involving the actualization of aspects of the past in the present.

I use the expression 'contrast of temporalities' to describe a fruitful and therapeutic conflict between the strict time limitations imposed upon the setting by analytic technique, on the one hand; and, on the other, the atmosphere of timelessness so often characterizing the experience of psychoanalysis, both as a whole and within individual sessions.

I trace the roots of this timelessness to the original experience of unidimensional time ('infantile omnipresent'), which is in turn related to the timeless quality of our unconscious life.

[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 © 2021, 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.