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Shalgi, B. (2008). The Dread of Mutual Creation of Meaning. Psychoanal. Dial., 18(2):243-247.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(2):243-247

The Dread of Mutual Creation of Meaning

Boaz Shalgi, M.A.

Anthony Bass's and Ilana Laor's papers are viewed through the lens of the modern philosophical discussion regarding the ways meaning is created. A distinction is thus made, between “the setting” and the meaning of the setting, seeing the latter as inevitably created by the intersubjective dyad. The encounter with an Other, with whom we mutually create the meaning of our thoughts, feelings, and dreams, can be experienced as expanding the configurations of our selves and that of others, and thus, playfully or painfully, makes what was unbearable bearable, making all facets of oneself that could not live before come alive. But this very encounter also holds within it the dread of losing our own sense of self, of integrity and of sanity, and thus results in an impasse or “deadlock.” Because it touches the core of our being, as therapists and as human beings, the issue of “the frame and the picture,” of creating with our patients the meaning of the setting, amplifies this dialectic and is one of the most fascinating and difficult challenges of relational psychoanalysis.

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