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Gerhardt, J. Sweetnam, A. Borton, L. (2003). The Intersubjective Turn in Psychoanalysis: A Comparison of Contemporary Theorists Part 3: Darlene Bregman Ehrenberg. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(4):533-577.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 13(4):533-577

The Intersubjective Turn in Psychoanalysis: A Comparison of Contemporary Theorists Part 3: Darlene Bregman Ehrenberg

Julie Gerhardt, Ph.D., Annie Sweetnam, Ph.D. and Leeann Borton, Ph.D.

This is the third in a series of papers comparing the work of three contemporary theorists, each of whom is associated with the intersubjective turn in psychoanalysis: Jessica Benjamin (Gerhardt, Sweetnam, and Borton, 2000), Christopher Bollas (Gerhardt and Sweetnam 2001), and Darlene Ehrenberg. This paper describes aspects of the work of Ehrenberg and attempts to show how her trailblazing ideas of the therapeutic relationship and its nuanced particularities bear on issues in intersubjectivity theory. Ehrenberg's distinctive twist lies in her painstaking exploration of the processes of mutual influence in the ongoing therapeutic interaction and their bearing on the analytic process. The manner in which Ehrenberg attempts to integrate both interpersonal and intrapsychic perspectives and uses the interpersonal as a way of locating the intrapsychic is another focus of this inquiry. Moreover, the sense conveyed through Ehrenberg's voice—a voice both

sensuous and strident, tender and provocative—in her attempt to make living, breathing contact in the moment with patients otherwise deadened to their own desire is also examined as bearing on issues associated with the intersubjective turn. While our own authorial positioning is never quite declared, our object relational biases exert their influence throughout our reading of her work, not surprising for a paper on intersubjectivity.

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