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Kirshner, L. (2015). The translational metaphor in psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. Video Collection, 1(1):2.

(2015). International Journal of Psychoanalysis Video Collection, 1(1):2

The translational metaphor in psychoanalysis Related Papers

Lewis Kirshner

The translational metaphor in psychoanalysis refers to the traditional method of interpreting or restating the meaning of verbal and behavioral acts of a patient in other, presumably more accurate terms that specify the forces and conflicts underlying symptoms. The analyst translates the clinical phenomenology to explain its true meaning and origin. This model of analytic process has been challenged from different vantage points by authors presenting alternative conceptions of therapeutic action. Although the temptation to find and make interpretations of clinical material is difficult to resist, behaving in this way places the analyst in the position of a teacher or diagnostician, seeking a specific etiology, which has not proven fruitful. Despite its historical appeal, I argue that the translational model is a misleading and anachronistic version of what actually occurs in psychoanalysis. I emphasize instead the capacity of analysis to promote the emergence of new forms of representation, or figuration, from the unconscious, using the work of Lacan, Laplanche, and Modell to exemplify this reformulation, and provide clinical illustrations of how it looks in practice.

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