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Tip: To review The Language of Psycho-Analysis…

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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Massey, C. (1996). Cultural and Conceptual Dissonance in Theoretical Practice: Commentary on RoseMarie Pérez Foster's “The Bilingual Self: Duet in Two Voices”. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(1):123-140.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(1):123-140

Cultural and Conceptual Dissonance in Theoretical Practice: Commentary on RoseMarie Pérez Foster's “The Bilingual Self: Duet in Two Voices” Related Papers

Carla Massey, Ph.D.

Foster draws our attention to the experiential world of “bilingual” people and “bilingual” treatment. She impresses on us the profoundly important role language plays in creating, organizing, and defending our experiential worlds and psychic histories. I welcome and fully support her efforts to bring issues related to doing bilingual/bicultural treatment and issues pertaining to language and psychoanalytic practice into a public forum for discussion. There has not been enough discussion.

Broadly speaking, there are two problems Foster opens up in her paper. The first problem concerns the division between some bilinguals' differing experiential language-worlds. She persuasively shows the profound therapeutic difference languages make, if shared in the analytic dyad, in engaging with both worlds and the conflicts between them. She conveys the power that the “music, meaning, and mood of language” has to transport the analytic dyad between these worlds, and through the treatment process. She argues that a bilingual analyst offers bilingual patients the possibility of access to linguistically defended aspects of their affective experience and “enhanced transformational possibilities for transference enactments.”

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