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Harris, A. (2008). Speech and Sensuality; Speech and Separation: Commentary on Paper by Sarah Hill. Psychoanal. Dial., 18(4):456-465.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(4):456-465

Speech and Sensuality; Speech and Separation: Commentary on Paper by Sarah Hill Related Papers

Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.

This discussion attends to the way the author addresses issues of bilingualism, multiple self-states, primary nonverbal attachments, and the complexity of countertransference identifications in a treatment with several overlapping language worlds. Language or rather speech practice is considered as a carrier of object ties, as a repository of affect and unconscious meaning. I approach Hill's clinical report by thinking about how Hill situates aspects of identity within particular language worlds. Why exactly is it that language demarcates identity, the distinctions of self and other, and the positioning of identity in history so acutely? We see that language has amazing constitutive power in this case, a case where language and attachment, language and early loss, language and traumatic memory, and language and development are so intertwined.

This discussion also takes on the author's use of her countertransference and her dream material illuminate conflicts and ruptures in a treatment with

a French-speaking patient. Various theories of language and the philosophy of language as well as attachment theory are used to examine the dynamics and processes in Sarah Hill's case. I consider also the role of a lost language world in the analyst's early childhood may have pressed powerfully on the treatment.

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