Psychoanalytic Dialogues (PSYCHOANAL DIALOGUES )


Even in 1991, its initial year of publication, PD was singled out by Newsweek as being at the center of a revitalization of psychoanalytic thinking. "With the infusion of new blood," Newsweek wrote, "a welcome hubbub of lectures, debates and competing ideas is being heard in the analytic marketplace again. Articles and books - many of them by women psychologists - are tumbling off the presses, and adding to the din is a provocative new journal, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, that has been airing fresh views on the relationship between doctor and patient and the psychoanalytic process itself." Since that time, PD has continued to explore the overlapping perspectives that regard relational configurations between self and others, real and fantasied, as the pathway to understanding human motivation and as the locus of psychodynamic explanation. These perspectives grow out of various traditions: interpersonal psychoanalysis; British object relations theories; self psychology; infancy research and child development; and contemporary Freudian thought.

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    Psychoanalytic Dialogues website
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    Psychoanalytic dialogues
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Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: How do patients internalize new good object experience and how do these previously closed systems open up? What happens within and between analyst and patient that leads to the opening up of affective channels between them and allows consciousness to become transpersonal? The ways in which self-state experience becomes more fluid and cohesive, or less dissociated, is an affective process. This process occurs intersubjectively, as well as between self-states within each individual. When particular self-states come together between analyst and patient, especially those associated with pain and shame, disruption and instability may result within the mind-system (intrapsychic organization) of either or both partners. Managing the affective strain and psychic destabilization are vital tasks for the analyst and patient, in order for relationships between parts of the self (within one individual) to move from pain and hiddenness to compassionate recognition, thereby allowing and facilitating for parts of the self within the other individual to, in turn, move from pain and hiddenness to compassionate recognition. This is a core process of internal life, leading to the development of intimacy between self-states as well as between individuals.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 12/2012; 22(6):662-678.
  • Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2012; 22(5):569-585.
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    ABSTRACT: Psycho-analytically inflected readings of narratives of victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and beneficiaries collected in an apartheid archive project provide understandings of how apartheid shaped subjectivities. These narratives constitute an archive of traumatic affect generated by everyday experiences of racism. They illustrate how racism was promoted by enactments of power differentials in the intimate spaces of home and work.The power relations implicit in the construction of archives are underscored given that public archives like private memories contour our future remembering. They shape our subjectivities long after living memory of the recorded events is no more. Like all traumatic memories, archived memories run the risk of being dissociated with all that this implies.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 11/2011; 21(6):643-657.
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    ABSTRACT: This is a commentary on Joyce Slochower (this issue)23. Slochower , H. 1974 . What it means to be Jewish . Judaism , 23 : 462 – 464 . View all references and Laura Impert and Margaret Rubin (this issue), who study how psychoanalysts struggle with progressive and regressive dynamics of mourning, remembering, and nostalgia. They offer new ideas about the creation of “memorial spaces” in order to challenge the classical conception that, ideally, mourning ought to be final at some point, and to enhance our clinical facility with “sensual objects of nostalgia” qua evocative phenomena that can help thaw frozen mourning. In the effort to carve out more time and place for the mourner who has lost historical time and place, the authors refer excessively to terms like space (“memory spaces”) and object (nostalgia-based “evocative objects”). While these terms are common coin in contemporary psychoanalysis, the overemphasis on localized, almost concrete “spaces” and “objects” is inconsistent with the intent to describe mental developments taking place at very high levels of symbolization and memorialization. Finally, important elements of the authors' clinical material are highlighted that can be further mined in order to reveal deeper psychosexual dimensions of the transference and countertransference, and to expose existential aspects of why and how we write as psychoanalysts.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 11/2011; 21(6):719-730.
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    ABSTRACT: This discussion relates Gillian Straker's work on the South African apartheid archives to Rawlsian social ethics, and to Margalit's ethics of memory, with special emphasis on her “bystander/beneficiary” formulation. From a psychoanalytic point of view, it questions whether Brombergian dissociation adequately accounts for the pre-dissociative self-loss described by some of the archive participants. Returning to ethics, it invokes Margalit's concept of the moral witness.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 11/2011; 21(6):658-663.
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    ABSTRACT: Stephanie Lewin's paper brings together Kleinian and Relational theorizing to extend our understanding of identification. She makes a key distinction between normal and traumatic jealousy. Normal jealousy allows for identification with introjection. Traumatic jealousy leads to what she calls “parallel identification,” an imitative process that forecloses the development of psychic space. In this commentary I offer further reflections on how the ordinary jealousy of Oedipus leads to the expansion of psychic space and imagination, and how this process can be truncated by the cruelty inherent in traumatic jealousy.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2011; 21(5):580-588.
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    ABSTRACT: This commentary describes certain differences in how Relational and Contemporary Freudian analysts approach both the conceptual dynamics of hysterical functioning and its clinical management. The discussion shows how, despite considerable agreement between these two groups concerning the critical importance of a receptive other for the successful buildup of virtually every aspect of mental life (not to be confused with the concept of co-creation), they also have quite substantial differences; differences that are rooted in contrasting basic assumptions about the ways in which fantasies, unconscious transference displacements, and self-regulating repetitive processes are set up in the mind. The discussion also illustrates how the clinical management of hysteria differs considerably depending on whether what is taking place in the consulting room is conceived of as an autonomous, repetitive process that the patient brings to the treatment and repeats (one way or another) over and over again, or whether it is conceived of as co-created, belonging to the minds of both persons in the room, even if not in equal measure or equal ways.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2011; 21(5):538-547.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper draws a connection between the clinical emergence of a primitive form of identification, termed parallel identification, and a temporary stasis in the transference. Parallel identification is defined as a manic defence that blocks the acute suffering brought on by consciously experienced jealousy arising from the loss of a beloved yet sadistic object. It occurs as follows: the identifying subject merges with his object of desire through compulsive imitation. This merger holds the subject in a developmental cocoon of non-being that negates his perception of any rivals for the object's love. Parallel identification, illustrated in two case examples, inhibits conscious jealousy, subsequently blocking the subject's capacity to evolve through empathy and fantasy.For theoretical context I introduce a framework that classifies established forms of identification dually, as either penetrating or nonpenetrating, with parallel identification offered as one example of the latter. Nonpenetrating identifications are merger fantasies that occur one-sidedly, within the subject only, protecting the subject from the trials of forging a more fully elaborated, three-dimensional internal world based upon spontaneous relatedness and empathy with another. Penetrating identifications occur bilaterally, impacting both self and other, allowing for an internal world of empathy and fantasy to be co-created within a two-person relationship. The paper asserts that nonpenetrating identification, though serving a protective purpose, may temporarily serve to blunt the power the therapist normally finds through internally tracking projective/introjective processes. In the first case example, the discovery and articulation of parallel identification brought a new sense of dynamism to a stalemate in the transference, while in the second case, the stasis-inducing presence of undetected parallel identification temporarily dulled the sharp edge of projective identification within an erotic transference. In both cases, parallel identification was a defensive response to unbearable jealousy that, until made conscious, inhibited relatedness in subtle but extreme ways within each treatment.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2011; 21(5):551-570.
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    ABSTRACT: Distance is seen here not only as a clinical phenomenon of being hard to reach but as a phenomenon of the fundamental nature of experiencing. Distance is a concept that interweaves separateness and sameness, a way of understanding how we are fundamentally interconnected and yet private at the same time.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2011; 21(5):607-618.
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    ABSTRACT: Through the defining power of words, the phrase “difficult-to-reach” patient reflects the extent to which the analyst inverts the patient's will to change and makes the analyst the subjective agent of treatment progress. If making a constructive contribution to another person's life engenders a sense of creative agency, the traditional dichotomies of analyst/helper who gives and an empty patient who receives may not be useful. I trace the evolution of a 23-year-long psychotherapy from a parent–child dynamic through to more uncertain relational terrain in order to illustrate how the analyst's own evolution may have clashed with the patient's ambivalence toward change and endings. I raise questions of how the dignity of making a creative contribution to the “reachable enough” analyst's life may enable the patient to work through gratitude, attain a sense of belonging, and terminate with good conscience.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2011; 21(5):619-629.
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    ABSTRACT: The phenomena of hysteria are first considered from a historical perspective that emphasizes the role of domination and power relations between the sexes. This permits an examination of the dynamics and impact of humiliation in interpersonal relations on the formation of hysteric symptomatology. Humiliation is viewed as having a powerful deleterious effect on the development of the capacity to think and feel in a coherent and meaningful manner. The relationship between humiliation and hysteria is explored theoretically and illustrated with clinical material that emphasizes developmental dynamics through which relationally based injuries fracture the ability to know and communicate one's experience.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 09/2011; 21(5):517-530.
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    ABSTRACT: Sorting among Stephen Seligman and Vittorio Lingiardi's wealth of links to my paper, I take up Seligman's question, “What is authenticity when you don't even have to show your face to be on Facebook?” Inspired by insights from each of their commentaries, I turn to the question of the analyst's texuality and offer an approach to therapeutic disclosure when the metric of discovery is searching rather than loss.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):508-514.
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    ABSTRACT: Seligman admires Stephen Hartman's ability to enter and empathize with the emerging psychosocial ambience of the new social media while maintaining his focus as a psychoanalytic clinician and theorist. He then delineates how the new modes of constructing what constitutes “reality” and the aesthetics of subjectivity may mark a departure from ideals of authenticity and privacy, which are at the center of the psychoanalytic project. Finally, he worries that these shifts are linked to an overall concentration of corporate power and ownership of media and other ideological apparatuses supporting an alienated, fetishized culture of consumption and market-minded vacuity.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):496-507.
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    ABSTRACT: Starr and Aron's paper, based on original research, bares a trauma that is as much professional as it is ethical. Their watershed insights into its origins could emerge, however, only when a certain critical mass of data and theory had accumulated. Their essay challenges the reader to confront the ethical and professional dilemma of imagining the founder of psychoanalysis engaged in a cure entailing orgasm-by-proxy.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):393-397.
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    ABSTRACT: The author discusses the role of metaphor in organizing the analyst's experience and contrasts the metaphor of “polyrhythmic weave” offered by Steven Knoblauch, with a musical metaphor rooted in dissonance, uncertainty, and a decentered analytic presence. The author discusses the advantage of each metaphor and how they might be complementary.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):437-445.
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    ABSTRACT: Privileging stillness as a central strategy in the activity of the psychoanalyst is questioned as the only effective clinical strategy for optimizing a psychoanalytic focus. Stillness is demonstrated to have an array of potential affective impact as opposed to the traditional assumption of neutral impact or the creation of a space for meaning to emerge. An example of the duration of silence is used to illustrate that attention to the polyrhythmic weave of timing in the interactions constituted by analysand and analyst can prove to be at least as rich a fulcrum for generating meaning in the psychoanalytic process as a strategy of sustaining silence as space for transference projections by the analysand or reverie for the analyst. The impact of cultural practices and beliefs is further considered for how these can shape the scope and focus of analytic attention. In particular, the concept of attunement is revisited to demonstrate how a particular cultural perspective, which privileges a linear concept of time and timing, could fail to recognize the generation of subtle affective meanings from the polyrhythmic weave of timing including matching and mismatching, a more complex and richer focus for analytic attention than just a moment of matching.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):414-427.
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews historical roots of interest in the embodied dimensions of the analytic interaction. Starting with concepts of embodiment found in Freud's early writings, the article traces the emergence of analysis of direct emotional communication in light of Freud's discovery of the transference. The importance of analyzing the latent negative transference, as stressed by Reich, and his consequent development of resistance and character analysis is reviewed. The paper outlines the Scandinavian character analytic tradition's further development of Reich's thinking about embodied analysis. The work of Harald Schjelderup is reviewed for his early contribution to the relational turn in psychoanalysis and for drawing a principal distinction between the analysis of verbal-symbolic and embodied communications. Tage Philipson's development of a theory of embodied identification and his experimentation with imitation is reviewed and linked to recent work proposing a fundamental role for inner imitation in the unfolding of intersubjectivity.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):453-467.
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    ABSTRACT: Stephen Hartman's paper is a very stimulating contribution to the psychoanalytic debate on the interpretation of cyber reality. In my commentary I address some of the conceptualizations introduced by Hartman: different realities (conventional, psychoanalytic, internal, external, Reality 1.0, 2.0, 1.1,1.2. … etc.), infinite access, cybermourning, and loss. Starting from the personal and clinical histories presented by Hartman (I refer to them as “names”), I discuss some more or less embodied aspects of virtual life, such as gender, online romances, betrayal, privacy, multiple settings. Leaning on the concepts of psychic retreat, transitional area, and psycho(patho)logical use of the object I try to put realities in dialogue, persuaded that different realities are always connected or embedded.
    Psychoanalytic Dialogues 07/2011; 21(4):483-495.

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