Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Montana Katz - Contemporary Field Theory

"Psychoanalysts experience the creative fusion that takes place working with a patient, especially when something surprising and transformative emerges in the process. Madeleine and Willy Baranger described analytic processes and what happens in them that affords this creativity and also what blocks it by developing the idea of a psychoanalytic field. In their innovative work, they drew from writers in other disciplines including sociology and philosophy amongst others. The psychoanalytic field as the Barangers described it included both participants and was considered a bi-personal field. The field, following this model, has its own unconscious processes and its own fantasies. The psychoanalytic field according to the Barangers is itself the proper object of interest in analytic processes and not the intrapsychic world of the analysand. At roughly the same time and thereafter until the present, other psychoanalytic field concepts were being developed in other parts of the world, some influenced by the Barangers’ work and some independent. For example, in North America relational fields, self object matrices, intersubjective fields and other kinds of fields were being used and written about. Also in North America, Robert Langs developed an approach to psychoanalysis that was influenced by the Barangers’ work and made use of the bi-personal field. In Italy, Antonino Ferro and others have been developing Bionian Field Theory which was also influenced by the Barangers’ work as well as that of Bion. There is a family of field concepts that are useful for clinical work and draw the practitioner back to the fundamentals of what psychoanalytic process is about."
Montana Katz, author of Metaphor and Fields (Routledge, 2012). Text above is description of presentation to take place at the Contemporary Freudian Society on Feb. 26, 2014.


1 comment:

  1. I think this idea is so important and moves us away from the fantasy that the clinical setting is comprised of two individuals and their individual sets of inner experiences. We are all impacted mutually by and through each other's psychic life in such a way that the different units of experience interweave. The early phenomenologist, Max Scheler, would go so far as to say that psychic experience is originally undifferentiated, in typical cases, to the point that one often doesn't know where an experienced feeling, thought, fantasy originates -- in me or in another. While that point might seem extreme, Scheler makes a rather good case for it.


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