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Blum, H.P. (2016). Interpretation and Contemporary Reinterpretation. Psychoanal. Inq., 36(1):40-51.

(2016). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 36(1):40-51

Interpretation and Contemporary Reinterpretation

Harold P. Blum, M.D.

In basic psychoanalytic theory of technique, interpretation and insight reveal the latent content beneath the manifest appearance of symptoms, character pathology, and disturbed irrational behavior. The understanding of the neutrality and objectivity of the analyst, however, has been modified with new formulations of interpersonal, intersubjective influence and dyadic unconscious communication. Transference is often regarded as coconstructed in the present in a transference-countertransference field, emphasizing the analytic relationship and experience as a two-person analytic process. Nevertheless, the analyst is capable of good enough objectivity and neutrality for analytic work. Countertransference interpretation expands insight into the patient, as well as the analyst. Interpretation is not only resisted, but is reinterpreted by the analytic dyad with gradual partial insight and integration. The infantile unconscious, genetic interpretation, and reconstruction are often devalued in some object relations frameworks. A clinical vignette illustrates the continued importance of the past in the present without neglect of current determinants and perspectives. While integrating newer considerations of the two-person analytic field, interpretation and insight into the dynamic unconscious are here regarded as the sine qua non of psychoanalysis.

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