Anna Halász: Blessing or curse? Thoughts about the analyst’s subjectivity

The psychoanalytic literature is full to the brim by the analysis of the therapist’ subjective attitude. The issue divides the authors, who either praise or condemn subjective manifestations occurring in the therapeutic process. Some write about transgressions of subjectivity, while others claim that the therapist must get involved in the therapeutic process so as to be able to recognize his or her own countertransference reactions. The present paper wishes to contribute to this truly fruitful debate, not trying to conceal that the author feels closer to the camp which, through the impact of developmental research, has intersubjectivity written on its banners. This approach will obviously give subjectivity a larger ground, but it does not mean the author can give an unambiguous answer to the question in the title. It does not imply either that a non-intersubjective approach should be considered fully wrong. Clinical vignettes are meant to ease the theoretical text, so that the difficulty where our subjectivity puts us could be better grasped.

Keywords: subjectivity – intersubjectivity – involvement – enactment – countertransference acting-out – container function

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