Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Danielle Quinidoz on the Patient of the Third Millennium

Below is the abstract of the article which provides a compelling summary of Quinidoz's main points:

"What sort of patients do we have in psychoanalysis now, at the beginning of the third millennium, and what sort will we have in the future? In the author's clinical experience, the patients who are currently seeking help from the psychoanalyst use primitive defence mechanisms alongside neurotic ones. Most of them do not explicitly request psychoanalytic treatment, but this does not mean that they would not want it if they knew what it was. She argues that is the psychoanalyst's task to identify the latent request behind the ‘non-request’. To conduct a psychoanalysis with such patients, the psychoanalyst has to identify and interpret both primitive and neurotic psychic mechanisms; moreover, he has to use not only language that speaks to patients but also language that ‘touches’ them, because these patients are difficult to reach through verbal symbolism. This implies that the pscyhoanalyst must be attentive to the bodily manifestations and bodily phantasies accompanying his countertransference feelings. The author shows through clinical examples what she means by ‘language that can touch patients’. The psychoanalyst gradually builds up this language while, at the same time, daring to discover in himself his own mad aspects and giving himself enough psychical freedom to accept them."

Danielle Quinodoz (2001). "The Psychoanalyst of the Future: Wise Enough to Dare to be Mad at Times," International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, Vol. 82, pp. 235-248

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