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Wright, S. (2020). Analytic Attitude - Focus or Embodiment? Subtle Communications in the Transference/Countertransference Relationship. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(3):538-557.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(3):538-557

Analytic Attitude - Focus or Embodiment? Subtle Communications in the Transference/Countertransference Relationship

Susanna Wright

The paper considers a ‘befallment’ that occurred in the course of analysis at a time when the focus of work was too much at a conscious level, dissociated from the patient's embodied and visceral depths. A rigidly held attitude of focal attention is considered as potentially a defence against embodied experiences of overwhelm and vulnerability that may haunt shadowy realms which remain unlit by the narrow beam of conscious awareness. Rather as a dream drifts in from the unconscious, an enactment by the analyst brought neglected aspects of the transference and countertransference relationship into the room. Later, the patient's own dreaming mind offered images that suggested an underlying dynamic. These subtle communications, alongside the patient's attitude toward the analyst's lapse, are considered as factors in the achievement of greater embodied integration. The analyst's difficulty in arriving at a formulation of such events is discussed, along with the necessity of holding such ‘befallments’ in mind over long periods of time before any explanation can be adumbrated.

[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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