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Zwiebel, R. (2020). Bipolarity of the scenic and lexical modes of analytic listening: Commentary on Gabriel Sapisochin’s paper “Enactment: Listening to Psychic Gestures”. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(1):110-121.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(1):110-121

Contemporary Conversations

Bipolarity of the scenic and lexical modes of analytic listening: Commentary on Gabriel Sapisochin’s paper “Enactment: Listening to Psychic Gestures”

Ralf Zwiebel

A brief preliminary note

Is it true that an ever-widening gulf exists in contemporary psychoanalysis between an as it were increasingly elaborated, publicized version of our discipline and its actual practice hour by hour and day by day? Might there perhaps also be a conflictual tension between an ideal type and a real type of practice? After all, whereas theoretical models of psychoanalytic treatment are described in more and more diverse and differentiated terms, the day to day practice of the “good enough” psychoanalyst is as a rule less spectacular and tends to bear a powerfully intuitive stamp. Nowadays every psychoanalyst is commonly said to have his individualized working model. With each new publication—if at all noticed among the constantly expanding plethora of literature—the individual psychoanalyst is called upon, and sometimes also motivated, to undertake a critical reflection on his personal working model. Given a thorough reading, it seems to me that two aspects can be distinguished here. The first is that the reader will have to translate the author’s vocabulary into his own terms in order to be able to reconstruct the author’s argument. In addition to this fundamental work of translation, a second step must be transposition into one’s personal thinking and practice. Taken together, these two steps permit a process of appropriation (if the text contains innovative aspects) or critical engagement (if the author’s argument is unconvincing).

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