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Kouretas, N. (1984). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East. Psychoanal Q., 53:505-506.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:505-506

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East

Nicholas Kouretas

DISCUSSION: Dr. Herbert J. Goldings asked whether we could conceptualize a developmental line of action, given the importance that action has for children. Dr. Valenstein answered that the beginnings of action might be sought in the beginnings of language, the latter being the result of inborn executive faculties unfolded anaclitically within the matrix of the mother-infant relationship. Words are not just given by the parents but are also contributed by the child to the family lexicon, often with multifaceted meanings. Dr. Ana-Maria Rizzuto asked how visible action must be before it can be considered the result of mutative insight. Dr. Sheldon Roth spoke of "postanalytic insight," that is, the contention of many analysts that observable behavior appears after analysis is terminated. Dr. Valenstein responded by sharing a number of clinical vignettes and added that he does not see action as concrete and observable in definitive behavior. As an example, one could postulate the acquisition of the capacity for word play as an action response making use of language and imagery. He felt that something is left to be desired if an analysis terminates without the patient having enhanced his or her capacity for and enjoyment in word play. Dr. Evelyne Schwaber noted that one aspect of the originality of Dr. Valenstein's paper lay in its having addressed not just the idea of a "return to action," but to action on a higher, analytically informed level.

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