The Things We Carry: Finding/Creating the Object and the Analyst’s Self-Reflective Participation
Steven H. Cooper, PhD
I reflect on the interaction between the analyst’s dedicated attention to the patient’s internal object relations and the analyst’s self-reflective participation. Our stops and starts of attention to the patient’s internal objects and our own is in some sense one of the most important elements of our personal participation. I suggest that the patient’s and analyst’s needs for privacy and the illusion of privacy in the presence of the other, undertheorized within relational theory, is not at odds with an emphasis on valuing the patient’s capacity for a “read” on the analyst. Needs for privacy and the illusion of privacy held by patient and analyst need to be integrated into any psychoanalytic theory and form part of the basis of intimate regulatory systems between two people.
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