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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Astor, J. (2005). Fisher, James. V. ‘“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind”: The death and rebirth of imagination’, Journal of the British Association of Psychotherapists, 2004, 42, 2, pp. 101-15.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(4):556-557.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(4):556-557

Fisher, James. V. ‘“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind”: The death and rebirth of imagination’, Journal of the British Association of Psychotherapists, 2004, 42, 2, pp. 101-15.

Review by:
James Astor

This is a talk influenced by the work of Don Meltzer and presented in a spoken form. Fisher's theme is that patients who are stuck in concrete thinking are not able to imagine not because they lack imagination but because they do not notice its presence. ‘This not noticing the presence of imagination means that there are only competing “facts” which call for adjudication and action, not thinking’ (p. 102). And equally importantly therapists can be drawn into these ‘competing “realities”’.

From this insight Fisher discourses on A Midsummer Night's Dream—‘one of our culture's defining explorations of imagination’, inviting us to ‘try to imagine seeing imagination at work in all perception’ (pp. 103, 102). The references to this play are a little tantalizing and left me feeling that what I was reading was an outline of a theme which the author would one day develop into a book; the theme being the way imagination is linked to symbolism, illusion and reality. He briefly discusses the part imagination plays in ‘falling in love’ where ‘what we see and hear and feel is shaped and formed and given a local habitation by the mind's conscious and unconscious fantasy’ (p. 105).

In the next section the author touches on how imagination is present in perception and evidenced most noticeably in art, but perhaps least imaginatively in conceptual art, with its tedious didacticism. There follows a presentation of Bion's thinking about Alpha-function and Beta-elements, which Fisher ties into the development of the individual.

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