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Meissner, W.W. (2009). The Genesis of the Self: IV. Implications for the Analytic Relation and Process Part II. The Self as Interactive. Psychoanal. Rev., 96(2):337-368.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Review, 96(2):337-368

The Genesis of the Self: IV. Implications for the Analytic Relation and Process Part II. The Self as Interactive

W. W. Meissner, S.J., M.D.

Fundamentally, it is the self-as-person who engages in the analytic relation and situation—this is as much a truism for analyst as for analysand. As synonymous with the human person, the self-as-person is a complex entity with multiple and interweaving capacities and functions that come into play in varying degrees of intensity and complex functional integrations in the often kaleidoscopic unwinding of the analytic process. I have made a somewhat arbitrary division for purposes of exposition between aspects of the self-system that are more directly related to the internal structural organization of the self, considered without reference to connections and involvements of the self in the world of objects and actions in its social and physical environments. These aspects and their implications for engagement in the analytic relation and process were examined in the previous paper (Meissner, 2009c). Keeping those considerations in mind, I reflect now on aspects of the self that involve the subject's relatedness to the outside world of other selves and other things as they come into play in the analytic process.

The specific aspects I have in mind are described in the first paper in this series (Meissner, 2009a); they include the self-as-object, the self-as-relational, and, finally, the self-as-social.1 The self-as-object serves as a bridging aspect of self-structure in that it is not only part of the internal organization of the self and thus reflects aspects of the self-structure, but is also that aspect of the self most directly and immediately open to external influences.

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