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Goldberg, A. (1994). Farewell to the Objective Analyst. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:21-30.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:21-30

Farewell to the Objective Analyst

Arnold Goldberg


The objective analyst is one who can stand outside of any given situation and make neutral observations, providing his or her countertransference feelings are in hand. The argument against such objectivity offered in this paper is that the activity of analysis involves both prejudice, i.e. one's pre-set ideas, and participation, i.e. a necessary and inevitable change in oneself. Therefore we all see things a bit differently, and we are all effected differently by what we see. Such a view of analysis forces us to insist upon limiting its practice to the analytic setting as well as calling for a recognition of our own subjective states which go beyond countertransference and encompass our whole selves. Since we are never context-free we must recognise that our interpretations are never able to be limited to one fixed reading and so the exchange between patient and analyst is always open and continuous.

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