"But at the Same Time and on Another Level...". Volume 1, by James S. Grotstein

By James S. Grotstein

This paintings is a "beginning", a primer to explain basic rules on how the psychoanalyst or psychoanalytically knowledgeable psychotherapist may perhaps optimally offer and retain the atmosphere for the psychoanalysis, hearken to and strategy the analysand's loose institutions, and eventually intrude with interpretations—principally from the Kleinian/Bionian standpoint, together with the modern London post-Kleinians and present day Kleinians and Bionians somewhere else. Grotstein follows that culture in respecting the foundational paintings of Klein's unique contributions and demonstrating how they certainly emerge into modern (post-) Kleinian and "Bionian" pondering.

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55] Joseph adds: “It seems to me that the notion of total situations is fundamental to our understanding and our use of the transference today. . By definition it must include everything that the patient brings into the relationship” (1989, p. 157; italics added). Thus, Klein strongly implies and Joseph clearly expresses that, when a patient is in analysis, the analytic situation is automatically such that the whole analytic session—all the patient’s statements and behaviour—constitutes transference.

What stands out for me in post-Kleinian thinking is what seems to me to be their obsession to contact the aliveness of the analysand behind his formidable resistances. As I survey the contributions of the contemporary London post-Kleinians, three trends seem to stand out. (a) There seems to be a softening tone laced with empathy and a language directed towards functions, primitive and otherwise, rather than towards drives or part-objects per se. The interpretations seem to be directed more towards the adult patient and are more “user-friendly”.

Just as airplane pilots should be frequently tested for their competence in “instrument flying” so as to be able to fly safely through cloud-covered skies, so should the therapist be competent to follow the patient to whatever depths this takes him. Furthermore, having defined psychoanalysis as the study of only a one-person subjectivity (but in the requisite context of a two-person intersubjectivity), in which the characters in his manifest-content “novel” are relegated to fictional status as phantasies and dreams, I hasten to add a caveat: Psychoanalysis is, indeed, the exclusive study of the analysand’s psychic structures, but in the course of conducting an analysis, the analyst is obliged to conduct legitimate psychotherapy from time to time because the analysand believes in the reality of the objects that he presents and is earnestly and emotionally involved with them, to the best of his knowledge.

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