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Foehl, J. (2019). Dimensional Time: Discussion of “Psychoanalysis in Real Time: Temporal Troubles in the Clinical Dyad”. Psychoanal. Dial., 29(6):682-688.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 29(6):682-688

Dimensional Time: Discussion of “Psychoanalysis in Real Time: Temporal Troubles in the Clinical Dyad”

Jack Foehl, Ph.D.

Every moment occasions a constitution of subjectivity that has at its heart a temporal structure. Far from being objective, time is dimensional. The extases (past-present-future) of time do not simply move forward but turn back upon themselves and weave forward and back at the same time. There is a reversibility to time. Past significations are transformed as expressed and lived in the present (après-coup) while future significations are transformed as anticipated in light of a present transformed by the now deepened experience past (avant-coup). This temporal reversibility happens at every moment, and is characterized by folds in time, fluid exchanges where in the lattice-work of remembering and anticipating, eclipsed forgotten moments suddenly emerge in the lightning flash context of phantasy, changing the nature of what’s anticipated which changes the past, all shot through with feeling. In dialogue with Schoen’s “Psychoanalysis in Real Time” (this issue), I suggest that this dimensionality can flatten in a way characterized by Schoen as a split between objective or real temporality and an experience of time that is subjective. I emphasize a field perspective of the intersubjective third as providing a frame for Schoen’s considerations in her compelling reflection on time.

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