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Romero, C. (2017). Birksted-Breen, D. 2016. ‘Bi-ocularity, the functioning mind of the psychoanalyst’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 97, 1, 25-40.. J. Anal. Psychol., 62(4):610-614.

(2017). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 62(4):610-614

Birksted-Breen, D. 2016. ‘Bi-ocularity, the functioning mind of the psychoanalyst’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 97, 1, 25-40.

Review by:
Constance Romero

Dana Birksted-Breen's article ‘Bi-ocularity and the functioning mind of the analyst’ pulls into its comprehensive orbit several key questions circulating within psychoanalytic theory and practice. The author, a Freudian psychoanalyst, focuses on the nature and function of analytic reverie as well as the analyst's need to simultaneously hold qualitatively different states of mind during the analytic hour. The author provides a concise overview of her own and others' ideas on reverie, temporality, and figurability, while adding an additional ‘emphasis’ to Bion's notion of binocularity. A clarification is also offered regarding the use of image during reverie.

The author elaborates the manner in which fluctuating states of time and the native impetus for symbolization within the field of analyst and patient contributes to filling ‘dead gap(s)’ within the psyche of the analysand. This is especially relevant for those patients with early relational trauma who possess a limited emotional vocabulary. Breen states she wishes to:

… illustrate the function of the psychoanalyst with this patient to be that of providing a space in which something more than a fearful, rigid adherence to ‘the factual’ and the intellectual devoid of emotion can take place, and to reach that which has been paralysed by severe persecutory and catastrophic anxieties, while also not avoiding those anxieties. (p. 35)

Creating space for the transformation of persecutory anxieties is especially relevant in Birksted-Breen's conceptualization.

[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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