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Cooper, S.H. (2021). Waiting in Rooms: Discussion of Paper by Christopher Bonovitz. Psychoanal. Dial., 31(1):69-76.

(2021). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 31(1):69-76

Waiting in Rooms: Discussion of Paper by Christopher Bonovitz

Steven H. Cooper, Ph.D.

The author builds on Bonovitz’s fascinating study of the waiting room (this issue). He elaborates the complex function of waiting in analysis particularly with patients who are quite dissociated. Waiting occurs in the waiting room, in the consulting room, and in the minds of patient and analyst. The author explores the paradoxically active process of waiting for the patient to communicate disparate elements of their unconscious life emanating from the patient’s psychic rooms. Central to his thinking is that play often arrives to help illuminate points of transference-countertransference entanglement in relation to disintegrated experiences. The patient described by Bonovitz creates forms of play in the waiting room and the analyst brings the waiting room and consulting rooms together through her capacity to wait herself and make new links. The therapist’s capacity to hold and contain her patient’s capacity to be a nuisance (e.g) in the waiting room involved a level of caring, patience, and artfulness in relation to her patient and herself. Bonovitz reflects these similar capacities in his role as a supervisory third.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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