OPINION : DISCUSSION PAPER (2) PRESENTED to the CPJA on 28th November by ALAN LIDMILA

CPJA Discussion Statement:     Parameters of Practice/2

 We need to address the question ‘what is it we do?’ (and what is it we try not to do). Because it may be unclear, and therefore requires redefinition. This short paper seeks to delineate core principles of psychoanalytic practice, based in a reliable theoretical model that has evolved over time.

Essentially, it is a concrete restatement of our ‘flag statement’ (revised 2012) that in simple but meaningful terms may be listed as a series of principles of practice as follows:

  • Rhythm   (translation:  key arrangements around time, frequency, and regularity, typically longer than shorter, based in an understanding concerning, among other factors, infant development);
  • Regression (trans:  also concerning time and the importance of early or past experience ,including as re-experienced, possibly re-enacted, in the therapy setting);
  • The Unconscious (trans:  mental  operations , perhaps determining behaviour,  not immediately apparent, the meaning of which may be accessed  through  language, dream and symbol);
  • Setting/Frame (trans:  the therapeutic space, involving the above, as well as, crucially, attention to boundary and abstinence, as far as possible intellectually, and certainly physically);
    • Language and Thought   ( trans: the epistemophiliac impulse, aka the desire to know – and fear knowing –  as investigated, facilitated and understood , quintessentially, via language and speech);
    • Interpersonal Relationship ( trans:  the inter-subjective relationship/s between therapist and client, often involving multiple objects of a transferential  and countertransferential  nature, that may come to be identified and recognised by means of insight and interpretation);
    • Supervision  ( trans:  therapist normally has recourse to the ‘3rd position’ of supervision, wherein there is located some authority of the model, in addition to managing this position internally).
    •  Language and Thought   ( trans: the epistemophiliac impulse, aka the desire to know – and fear knowing –  as investigated, facilitated and understood , quintessentially, via language and speech);
    • Interpersonal Relationship ( trans:  the inter-subjective relationship/s between therapist and client, often involving multiple objects of a transferential  and countertransferential  nature, that may come to be identified and recognised by means of insight and interpretation);
    • ]Supervision  ( trans:  therapist normally has recourse to the ‘3rd position’ of supervision, wherein there is located some authority of the model, in addition to managing this position internally).
    • I have become, subject to client or pathology, relatively more flexible, responsive and creative in my personal style. But, I suggest, it is within, not beyond the pale.

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