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Gutiérrez, L. (2017). Silicon in ‘Pure Gold’? Theoretical Contributions and Observations on Teleanalysis by Videoconference. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1097-1120.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1097-1120

Silicon in ‘Pure Gold’? Theoretical Contributions and Observations on Teleanalysis by Videoconference Language Translation

Lucio Gutiérrez

(Accepted for publication 29 October 2016)

Ideas about psychoanalysis via videoconference — videoconference teleanalysis (VT) — are presented with the general understanding that these settings produce a twofold split between various degrees of recognition/negativisation of the absence of the other, on one hand, and the expectation of physical copresence, on the other. This split has been put forward as dismantling the here, now, with me pre-reflexive unity of the analytic experience. This article suggests that both members of the analytic dyad will seek to reappropriate the experience through a forced ego integration that interferes with accessing states of unintegration in the analytic treatment and produces subtle alterations to symbolisation work. The effort to overcome this condition is illustrated with clinical vignettes and therapists' comments about feelings of inauthenticity and discontent when trying to sustain evenly-suspended attention, as well as in the perception of a form of flattening of the alive nature of speech. However, this is not a constant for all VT, and mutual understanding can be an important mitigating feature. The focus of the discussion should be on the capacity of the analytic dyad to overcome such a split and not on a direct extrapolation of the perceptual limitations of VT to possible effects on transference / countertransference.

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