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Birksted-Breen, D. (2020). Writing in the time of Covid-19. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(3):433-435.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(3):433-435

Writing in the time of Covid-19

Dana Birksted-Breen

Psychoanalysts around the world have had to rapidly adjust to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus health crisis, which entailed either indefinite interruptions of analysis or the use of telephone or video-sessions. This is much more than a choice to change the setting and the mode of communication, as may have taken place for some in other situations, since this modification is ‘enforced’ by external circumstances and embedded in a background of social crisis, potentially giving form and expression to early and primitive distress après-coup.

This ‘naturalistic experiment’, which both analyst and patient are participants and prisoners of, can offer an opportunity for further thoughts on the analytic situation, even if assessing the effect and teasing out the role of the different factors will only be possible in the future. In the present we would like to support keeping a psychoanalytic thinking mind active during this time of crisis and give our readers food for thought.

In the current issue we publish, as a Brief Communication, The Current Coronavirus Sociosanitary Crisis: Remote Psychoanalysis by Skype or Telephone by Delphine Miermont-Schilton and François Richard. The communication, based on a discussion that has been taking place in the Paris Psychoanalytic Society (SPP), is anchored in French psychoanalytic literature, in particular Jean-Luc Donnet’s paper on the ‘analysing situation’, which distinguishes site that refers to more than ‘setting’, situation analysis, and Green’s notion of ‘internal setting’.

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