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Feuerhake, H.M. Lebrero, M. (2010). An Interruption in Unconscious Communication in the Analytic Couple. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 91(1):63-80.

(2010). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 91(1):63-80

Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

An Interruption in Unconscious Communication in the Analytic Couple

Hilda María Feuerhake and Marta Lebrero

The authors describe an interruption in communication in the analyses of two patients, which gradually brings the analytic process to a halt/standstill. They propose several hypotheses for understanding this situation. One explanation is mutual identification of primitive superegos in the analytic couple which generates a moralizing effect thereby hindering investigation and discovery. They emphasize the importance of countertransference involvement which partly provokes this particular type of impasse. They also suggest the idea of shared acting out, with complementary participations of analyst and patient. In this way the analytic couple supports a ‘bastion’ which protects against the risk of breaking the omnipotence of patient and analyst or contributes to this omnipotence. Their shared unconscious phantasy feeds collusion linked to unconscious persecutory guilt. The authors also describe movements to break free from this impasse. The enclave created by the analytic couple is detected and subsequently worked through by way of the patient's contribution of dream material and the analyst's work with her countertransference.

(Final version accepted 21 May 2009)

[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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