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Mazzacane, F. (2020). The analyst’s reveries: by Fred Busch, London and New York, Routledge, 2019, 106 p., £34,99 (paperback), ISBN-978-0-367-13417-4. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(3):621-624.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(3):621-624

The analyst’s reveries: by Fred Busch, London and New York, Routledge, 2019, 106 p., £34,99 (paperback), ISBN-978-0-367-13417-4

Fulvio Mazzacane

Busch’s interest in the topic of reverie springs from listening to a clinical vignette in which Claudio Eizirik shares a reverie he had while with his patient. Initially, Busch is puzzled; he experiences the sense of loss one feels when stepping out of the familiar schemes on which one has built one’s analytic style. Busch then surrenders to the experience, taking in his colleagues’ descriptions of their work with clinical reveries and ultimately generating a book that stimulates new ideas for the author while challenging already accepted ideas. The book offers a useful comparison between the various psychoanalytic schools and brings out the difficulties of entering into a clinical-theoretical scheme other than the one we are most familiar with. It is not easy to question some automatisms that we carry with us, to plunge into another psychoanalytic system, to study how it works and discuss it.

The aim should not be an attempt at simultaneous translation, which might involve the risk of losing the innovative potential of ideas that are framed in a different perspective. The search for differences and points of contact, the effort of mutual comprehension, constitute a bridge and are useful in the creation of a common ground.

Quite correctly, Busch points out that Bion hardly talks about reverie except in the motherchild relationship. It is post-Bionian developments that place reverie at the centre of clinical psychoanalysis, as one of the most important tools at the analyst’s disposal.

[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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