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Goldberg, S.H. (1989). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987: Language and the Self. Patrick de Gramont. Pp. 77-121.. Psychoanal Q., 58:684.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987: Language and the Self. Patrick de Gramont. Pp. 77-121.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:684

Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987: Language and the Self. Patrick de Gramont. Pp. 77-121.

Steven H. Goldberg

According to the author, all people must develop an awareness of themselves as creators of meaning and of language as the principle medium for the realization of meaning. The reality established by language is viewed as essential for symbolic communication, but this is accomplished at a cost. That is, verbally structured experiences reify reality in a way that may create gaps and distortions that become focuses of psychoanalytic inquiry. The author refers to these as "capturings," which constitute gaps in the fabric of meaning. The reified meanings that occur with language should optimally be open to challenge, in order to realize the benefits and to lessen the costs of verbal expression. Language has a "meta" function, which allows it to reflect upon its own meanings, and which allows the meanings conveyed by language to remain open and metaphorical. In certain forms of psychopathology, this meta function is lost. In analysis, analysands come to understand themselves as the creators of meaning. This occurs as reified capturings of meaning are reversed, and lost aspects of the self are re-owned and thus able to participate in the reflective realization of the self. Capturings of meanings are most likely to occur, and are most inaccessible to subsequent correction, during early childhood when language functions are first developing.

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Article Citation

Goldberg, S.H. (1989). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:684

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