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Diaz De Chumaceiro, C.L. (1996). “Dim Spot”: A Variant In Between Countertransferential “Bright” And “Blind” Spots.. Psychoanal Q., 65:376-381.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:376-381

“Dim Spot”: A Variant In Between Countertransferential “Bright” And “Blind” Spots.

Cora L. Diaz De Chumaceiro, Ph.D.

In an excellent brief commentary in this Quarterly, Goldberger (1993) recently called attention to analysts' “bright spots.” The term referred to subjects which have especially vivid meanings for analysts, subjects “endowed with rich associative elaborations based on readily available personal experience” (p. 270). When patients describe such subjects, analysts feel that they know the exact details of what the patients mean. “Because this feeling may be illusory, a bright spot may prevent adequate exploration” (p. 270). She concluded:

The analytic literature contains ample documentation that subjects with negative implications to analysts can constitute blind spots for them. I now add the caution that we should remain alert to our heightened investment in other subjects in order not to be blinded by our bright spots (p. 273).

My response focuses on an adjacent area of subjective countertransference that exists in between subjects with negative and positive implications in the analyst's life. I selected the term “dim spots” to designate subjects that analysts feel are lacking in interest and luster and thus, bordering on indifference, are weakly charged with less than average associative elaborations based on easily remembered personal experience. These subdued subjects hardly arouse interest or curiosity, and dulled feelings reduce brightness of perception and clarity of understanding. When these subjects are mentioned by patients, analysts also feel that they know what they mean, which prevents adequate exploration of defenses, as in the case of bright spots.

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