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Fivaz, E. (2017). The Present Moment in the Primary Triangle. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(4):242-250.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(4):242-250

The Present Moment in the Primary Triangle

Elisabeth Fivaz, Ph.D.

Daniel Stern described the present moment as “what happens here, now, between us” (BCPSG, 2010, p. 41). Stern considered the present moment as the basic unit of intersubjective communication or the sharing of inner states for both mother-infant pairs and therapist-patient dyads. He emphasized the importance of implicit processes for fostering change in relationships. Evidence collected during the last three decades in the Lausanne Centre for Family Studies points to a parallel, but collective form of intersubjective communication in the family that originates in infancy, thanks to the previously unknown competence of the young infant for multipartite interaction and sharing inner states with others. Collective intersubjectivity opens up new avenues for the understanding of development and change in the family, as well as for family therapy. These results are illustrated in several case vignettes and discussed in reports of conversations with Daniel Stern.

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