Whether the point of reference is drive, object, defense, language, or self, contemporary psychoanalysis has become absorbed with the question of countertransference. It is now widely accepted that the transference of the analyst is, to some degree, an inevitable concomitant of the psychoanalytic process. But this shift in focus has in turn required us to reexamine many other fundamental clinical concepts. Our new attention to the implications of accepted views on listening, empathy, interpretation, and understanding has enlarged the scope of analytic investigation to include the unconscious of the analyst functioning dynamically and intersubjectively in tandem with the unconscious of the analysand. Given this evolution in our thinking, the question naturally arises: What is the nature of the link between the unconscious of the analyst and the unconscious of the analysand? A survey of the psychoanalytic literature since Freud first raised this intriguing question reveals a tendency to presuppose tacitly a variety of apparently inconsistent answers. The aim of the plenary sessions will be to elicit and clarify specific views on the modalities and mediations of unconscious processes in the analytic dyad, with a view to possible refinements in technique, and the discovery of common ground for future research and debate.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Sonia Pahilo in Montreal (514-738-6105) or Mrs. Jean Bowlby in Toronto (416-922-7770).