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Bass, A. (1996). Holding, Holding Back, and Holding on Commentary on Paper by Joyce Slochower. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(3):361-378.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(3):361-378

Holding, Holding Back, and Holding on Commentary on Paper by Joyce Slochower Related Papers

Anthony Bass, Ph.D.

Joyce slochower, in her complex and thought-provoking essay, grapples with the tensions that emerge as she strives to come to grips with some of the centrally defining and most informative yet diverse trends in contemporary relational psychoanalytic theory and practice.

She is generous in giving us a crucial kind of psychoanalytic data to consider. She offers her personal phenomenological, self-analytic, and clinical findings from the trenches of the transferencecountertransference field in which she engages her most difficult patients. Such psychoanalytic reportage is of special value to clinicians seeking to expand the field of therapeutic possibilities. It is in working with our most challenging patients that each of us stretches the bounds of our own personal capacities as analysts, testing the limits of our clinical theories as well. And it has often been through the efforts of creative psychoanalysts to find new ways of working with, learning from, and living through their most trying clinical experiences that psychoanalysis itself has evolved and expanded its scope.

Slochower regards her most difficult patients as having great trouble tolerating evidence of her own personal presence, separateness, or subjectivity. She describes patients with whom she finds that evidence of her own subjective presence derails the treatment or leads to therapeutic impasses that she believes threaten it.

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