Insight And Interpretation
Insight And Interpretation
Insight And Interpretation
Insight And Interpretation

Insight And Interpretation

  • Publish Date: 2008-11-11
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Roy Schafer
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Insight and interpretation, the crucial tools of the psychoanalytic process, are no longer treated with the respect they deserve. Psychoanalytic literature has been neglecting, misunderstanding, or even abusing the validity of these two actions and their place in the analytic process. Instead, the focus has shifted toward the effects of countertransference and its role in the relationship between patient and analyst. By the same taken, the equally important question of the analyst's neutrality is regularly misunderstood and discredited. Roy Schafer explains, in his typically lucid and even-handed approach, how these new shifts in contemporary psychoanalysis have often resulted in conceptual imbalance and erratic technique. His goal, however, is not to reject these recent contributions but rather to integrate them into a more cohesive understanding of the psychoanalytic process. He powerfully demonstrates how unconscious and archaic fantasies inform the patient's narrative. Factors such as invasion of the mind, threat punishment, seduction, control, envy, withdrawal, and evasion can find expression through the transference. Interpretation of the transference, in turn, provides the patient with the insight of what it means to understand and to be understood, and why it is often so threatening. Therefore, when these fantasies are played out in the countertransference, they become a tool for further elucidation of these unconscious fantasies that underlie the analytic relationship. Schafer ends his discussion by examining the complex relation between psychoanalysis and the interpretation of sexual issues: how to find the right level and tone that facilitate analysis of the intrapsychic andexistential aspects bound up with sexual problems; the sexist and homophobic turns of language prevasive in psychoanalytic discourse; and the crucial role played by incompletely mastered sexual anxieties in the success and failure of gender jokes. Taken together, these essays will prove invaluable to analysts trying to maintain an articulated and rounder view of what it takes to bring meaning to their patient's lives through the power of insight and beneficial interpretations.

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