Academic journal article International Journal of Psychoanalysis

Beyond Transference, Countertransference, the Silences and the Opinion1

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychoanalysis

Beyond Transference, Countertransference, the Silences and the Opinion1

Article excerpt

The author examines several works of an intersubjectivist trend, as well as writings by Hanly, Cavell and Bion, defending many of the named psychoanalysts' viewpoints. These viewpoints are expressed in the search and the struggle for truth, recognizing, like Popper, that truth exists but that we cannot know with certainty whether and when we touch upon it, only that this endless effort merits a lifetime's work because it is the attempt at an encounter with ourselves-the true encounter. The author explains the criticisms by Green of Jacobs, and defends the maintenance of 'a certain possible neutrality' (Eizirik). He poses some questions with regard to Ogden's 'third subject', considering it, among other aspects, from the supervisory point of view, which may demonstrate the existence of 'a certain possible objectivity' of the emotional conflict. He develops some criticisms concerning silence as an interpretative action by Ogden, and summarizes two case histories. Both were unconsciously attempting to manipulate the analyst intensely-one of them to get the analyst to intervene in his love life, and the other to interrupt acting out.

Keywords: transference, countertransference, silence, opinion, neutrality. third subject, interpretative action, truth, self-disclosure, supervision

It is the theory which decides what we can observe.

(Einstein, 1926, quoted by Heisenberg, 1971)

In recent years, after the horrific disclosures of the Nazis' efforts at genocide, some historians have chosen to interpret the French Revolution as the first act in an obscene drama of which the Holocaust was the climax and inescapable conclusion ... I am persuaded that this is an unfortunate ... misreading which will not endure. ... And this raises a related criticism of subjectivity: as we all know, it is an all too familiar notion that researchers find what they are looking for, that their preconceptions colour their findings, their passions their results. They see what they seek ... Taine wanted to disparage the Revolution, hence he discovered the most discreditable rabble attacking the Bastille. Michelet wanted to rescue the Revolution; hence he discovered the most impressive patriots destroying the appalling symbol of despotism. But what these instances do not prove is that it has to be so. George Rudé, a political radical, no doubt wanted to find favourable things to say about the conquerors of the Bastille, but that did not compromise his findings in any way ... [Studying the documents he proved that the conquerors of the Bastille were residents of respectable enough neighbourhoods].

(Peter Gay, 1992, pp. x-xi)

When Freud discovered the countertransference which arises 'in the analyst as a result of the patient's influence on his unconscious feelings' (1910, p. 144), he introduced the psychoanalyst exclusively in relation to the patient. The intersubjective is imposed on the pair ineradicably. Freud amplified the problem, also pointing towards the limitations as being more than what the neurosis of the psychoanalyst imposes on the process. For Freud, auto-analysis, being 'impossible, were it not so there would be no neurosis' (Masson, 1985, p. 282), led us all on to terms which are making a long psychoanalytical day's journey inside our mind, a long night's journey within it. Freud, basing himself on Kant, warned that 'our perceptions are subjectively conditioned' (1915, p. 171).

The solution discovered at that time was an attempt to extinguish the figure of the psychoanalyst to see the patient better, or to make sure whether the psychoanalyst, by way of the patient, 'even if Freud himself had shown more emotion than his icy metaphors implied' (Gay, 1988, p. 580). The solution which one psychoanalytical train of thought would be considering today would take the opposite direction. Attempting to illuminate the figure of the analyst appears to be leading to an obfuscation of the presence of the patient, a predominance of the associations of the ideas of the analyst, of his fantasies, supposedly in consonance with those of the patient, but possibly arising also from 'absent-mindedness', as Renik (1998, p. …

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