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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

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Greenberg, J. (1996). Psychoanalytic Interaction. Psychoanal. Inq., 16(1):25-38.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 16(1):25-38

Psychoanalytic Interaction

Jay Greenberg, Ph.D.

A middle-aged professional man arrives for his analytic session, lies down on the couch, and immediately announces, “My mind is blank.” It is something this patient does frequently; although the symptoms for which he sought help have improved dramatically since he began treatment a year and a half ago, he has never particularly enjoyed or trusted the process.

I know, because it has happened often before, that Mr. C becomes anxious when he has no agenda. Free association is not his cup of tea; it requires that he open himself receptively, and this is anathema to a man whose character is largely organized around expunging all vestiges of anything he might think of as passive or feminine. But today, I am not quite sure why, I know that Mr. C is not simply describing a state of mind; there is something of an incantation in his words. He is not just telling me how he feels; he is also warning me about what the next forty-five minutes will be like for both of us.

The statement quickly affects my mood; I begin to worry about getting through the hour with my own spirits intact. I can feel myself withdrawing; paying attention to Mr. C is becoming difficult. It seems as if my mind could easily become as blank as his, not the blankness of evenly hovering attention with its promise of discovery around every corner, but the blankness of despair.

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