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Friedman, L. (2005). Flirting with Virtual Reality. Psychoanal Q., 74(3):639-660.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(3):639-660

Flirting with Virtual Reality

Lawrence Friedman, M.D.

Psychoanalysis encourages patients to experience a virtual reality of the psychoanalytic relationship, in which both image and wish can be experimented with. Originally, the patient's awareness was supposed to move back and forth between the virtual and the actual, in a flickering and uncertain fashion. That is uncomfortable, and analysts have often preferred the domain of virtuality or of actuality, or have denied the distinction altogether. Recent philosophical developments and doubts about transference neurosis and reconstruction further tempt analysts to relax the flickering uncertainty of virtual and actual. Patient and analyst may gain comfort but lose something in the process.

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