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The Interplay of Emotions in The Analytic Session

Howard B. Levine


The work of the analytic process encompasses more than a “talking cure.” In
addition to semantic, language-based communications, complex, non -verbal
factors—emotions, actions and inter-affectivity—are involved. These
take place unconsciously—individually, between and within both participants—
and can only be intermittently tracked in a provisional sense—most
often in retrospect.
I will present detailed clinical material in an attempt to show some of the
surface markers of a slow, labyrinthine movement that took place over many
years, involving both analyst and patient and eventuating in the analyst’s
formulation of the presumptive understanding of a patient’s action and joint
enactment—the reduction of the number of sessions per week. The narrative
behind this formulation reflects the impact of emotional experiences and
events in the life of the analyst that seem to be related to and salutary for his
work with this patient.


Bion, epistemology, emotions, figurability, intersubjectivity, transformations, unrepresented states

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