Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Michael Diamond - Use of the Analytic Mind and Interpsychic Communication

Conclusion to the Paper: The analyst’s unique use of mind placed in the service of the patient’s mind–body expression provides the driving force for patients to become more able to access their own unconscious mental functioning, both to understand themselves better and to internalize the mutative facets of the relationship with the analyst. Accordingly, the patient’s development is essentially dependent on the analyst’s use of this function and disturbed by perturbations in it. Consequently, as Loewald (1960) advocated, the analyst must offer a more or less evolved representational level, moving a step beyond the patient’s mental state by offering a different yet experientially appropriate perspective of a new, more “mature” object at a higher level of psychic integration. This requires discipline and faith in interpsychic dialogue in the context of an open, emotionally engaged unconscious participation in the analytic dyad.

In order to access and trust the unconsciously functioning analytic instrument, to secure analytic technique, and to better meet the challenges of our “impossible profession” (Freud 1923) by furthering dialogue among different psychoanalytic cultures—particularly given the somewhat neglected primacy of the Freudian unconscious—analysts are best sustained by maintaining confidence in analysis and its potential usefulness for each unique analytic dyad. Therefore, analysts need to recognize the significance of unconscious communication and to possess a clinical perspective grounded in theory both of unconscious mind and of analytic mind use in order to feel anchored across the spectrum of patients and situations.

The analyst’s more relaxed capacity to traverse this expanse with its inherent dynamic tension necessitates a level of maturity on the analyst’s part whereby analytic mind use can benefit the patient. In closing, I will quote William Wordsworth’s (1807) lyrical words as aptly evocative of
the essence of the analyst’s developed mind use:

More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress;
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.

Michael Diamond (2014) ANALYTIC MIND USE AND INTERPSYCHIC COMMUNICATION: DRIVING FORCE IN ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE, PATHWAY TO UNCONSCIOUS MENTAL LIFE, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Volume LXXXIII, Number 3, pp. 525-563.

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