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Sanchez-Cardenas, M. (2016). Clinical Applications of Matte Blanco's Thinking. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(6):1547-1573.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(6):1547-1573

Clinical Applications of Matte Blanco's Thinking Language Translation

Michel Sanchez-Cardenas

(Accepted for publication 11 December 2015)

Ignacio Matte Blanco (1908-1995) left very few specific indications about the applications of his theoretical notions to his interpretative style. The author shows how he uses Matte Blanco to formulate some of his own interpretations. The first part of the paper uses clinical vignettes to illustrate some of Matte-Blanco's concepts. Their theoretical vocabulary is thus made explicit. Then two psychoanalytic sessions are discussed at greater length, together with one from a therapy, so that the use of Matte-Blanco's notions can be seen clearly, allowing for a fresh perspective on areas of psychoanalytic theory, particularly dreams, psychopathology viewed according to the proportions of asymmetrical and symmetrical functioning in the patient's bi-logical mental system, the multidimensionality of the unconscious, the structural unconscious, the emotion-thought relationship, projective identification, resistance, and negative therapeutic reaction. The practical consequences of all this are elaborated, particularly the ensuing possibility of ‘thinking with the patient’ in the session. This enables the patient to introject a form of mental functioning in which the asymmetrical mode is not invaded by the symmetric mode (a parallel can be seen here with the Bionian concept of dialogue between the psychotic and non-psychotic parts of the mind).

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