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Having a PEP-Web subscription grants you access to IJP Open. This new feature allows you to access and review some articles of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis before their publication. The free subscription to IJP Open is required, and you can access it by clicking here.

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Kirshner, L. (2015). The Translational Metaphor in Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(1):65-81.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(1):65-81

The Translational Metaphor in Psychoanalysis Language Translation

Lewis Kirshner

A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/gpgB9BuChPw

(Accepted for publication 1 May 2014)

The translational metaphor in psychoanalysis refers to the traditional method of interpreting or restating the meaning of verbal and behavioral acts of a patient in other, presumably more accurate terms that specify the forces and conflicts underlying symptoms. The analyst translates the clinical phenomenology to explain its true meaning and origin. This model of analytic process has been challenged from different vantage points by authors presenting alternative conceptions of therapeutic action. Although the temptation to find and make interpretations of clinical material is difficult to resist, behaving in this way places the analyst in the position of a teacher or diagnostician, seeking a specific etiology, which has not proven fruitful. Despite its historical appeal, I argue that the translational model is a misleading and anachronistic version of what actually occurs in psychoanalysis. I emphasize instead the capacity of analysis to promote the emergence of new forms of representation, or figuration, from the unconscious, using the work of Lacan, Laplanche, and Modell to exemplify this reformulation, and provide clinical illustrations of how it looks in practice.

[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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