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Bodner, G. (2017). Panel Report, IPA Congress Buenos Aires 2017: Intimacy and Technology: Developing a Psychoanalytic Dialogue. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(6):1800-1802.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(6):1800-1802

Panel Report, IPA Congress Buenos Aires 2017: Intimacy and Technology: Developing a Psychoanalytic Dialogue

Guillermo Bodner

Chair: Gustavo Jarast

Presenters: Kamran Alipanahi, Jacqueline Amati Mehler and John Churcher

Reporter: Guillermo Bodner

The impetuous development of communication technologies in recent years has had an immense influence on people's lives, both individually and socially. Time zones, space, and distance are transformed as unique and novel technical devices flood the market. It is obvious that this has had consequences on our way of living or sharing intimacy and also on our way of understanding psychoanalytic treatment. Gustavo Jarast, who chaired the panel, briefly referred to these points before introducing the panellists. Jacqueline Amati-Mehler pointed out that due to a greater knowledge of primitive areas of psychic functioning, psychoanalysis has focused its attention on those areas. This greater knowledge has a powerful impact on the analyst's countertransference. The analysis of these processes requires greater containment and spatial closeness. Quoting G. Russell (2015) she said: “A prime concern with technologically-mediated treatment points out is that the elimination of co-present bodies largely confines the psychoanalytic process to ‘states of mind’ rather than ‘states of being’. It is when one can dwell in a ‘state of being’ that one can take part in the psychoanalytic process of communicating with oneself and the other”. Intimate relationships rely on significant implicit non-verbal components, which only a co-presence allows to be perceived. Deep vicissitudes are most likely to be evidenced in a close relationship with another, while defensive distance can elude all the evidence connected to early functions. Amati-Mehler also wondered about the impact that the “Skype-analysis” can have on our method, on the identity of candidates trained with these technical changes and on our specific 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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