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Fachler, A. (2016). On Joseph Aguayo's Paper about Bion's Notes on Memory and Desire (IJPA 95). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):507.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):507

On Joseph Aguayo's Paper about Bion's Notes on Memory and Desire (IJPA 95) Related Papers

Amit Fachler

Dear Editor,

In Joseph Aguayo's illuminating paper about Bion's Notes on memory and desire (IJP 95), footnote 2 on page 899 presents a synopsis of some of Bion's clinical vignettes in his Los Angeles seminars, from the recent book that Aguayo edited. Aguayo's second vignette reads as follows: “After a session of good contact, when a male analysand complained about how his father had ‘favoritized’ his sister; the analyst interpreted the patient's envy of what he himself had said the day before - in that session, the patient saw himself as ‘father's favorite’” (pp. 9-10 in Bion's book).

In fact, a quick reading of this second vignette reveals that after the patient's complaint about the ‘favoratizing’ father, Bion tells his audience: “When I thought the situation had evolved enough, I said to the patient that I thought that he must have been very envious of a patient whom he said he had seen on the day before, and that he felt that that patient was my favourite patient, and that I was very much the father who was not interested in him” (ibid, italics added). The slight discrepancy from what Bion actually said is quite significant. Bion's emphasis on letting the situation ‘evolve’ leads to the analyst's intuiting and identifying the ‘selected fact’, as Britton has shown so well (Britton, 1998, pp. 97-108). The selected fact, here, is some occurrence in the shared reality of patient and analyst (an uncalled-for brief encounter with another patient), an occurrence which finds its way as derivative material in the patient's associations (‘father favored my sister over me’).

[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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