IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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Inter-Regional Editorial Board: Adrienne Harris (North America), Abel Fainstein (Latin America), and Christian Seulin (Europe) Inter-Regional Coordinating Co-Chair: Eva D. Papiasvili (North America)


Overall, Intersubjectivity as a psychoanalytic orientation comes from the US and involves a theoretical paradigmatic shift as well as re-contextualization of clinical process. It draws on numerous sources, which include, but are not limited to, philosophy of phenomenology and structuralism, academic depth psychology (‘personology’), infant research within developmental psychology and child psychoanalysis, and the British (and originally Hungarian) psychoanalytic authors, as well interpersonal and socio-cultural theories within psychoanalysis and dynamic psychiatry and psychology, and various field theories. A distinct view of Intersubjectivity in French psychoanalysis, influential in France, Belgium but also in parts of Canada and the US, as well as more recently in parts of Latin America, has developed along parallel lines out of a different psychoanalytic tradition, although there are connecting points. It draws on specific re-reading of German original of Freud’s opus, and a direct translation of Freud into French, in conjunction with a historically meaningful socio-cultural context of the importance of language, even for those analysts who do not follow Lacan’s specific dynamic interpretation of Structural linguistics, and a somewhat different (from the US) interpretation of the Field theories, as well as of British authors. In the estimation of some contemporary French authors (Green 2000), the theories of Intersubjectivity coming out of the US and that of the French psychoanalytic thinking, present a corrective movement of an under-theorized/inadequately theorized aspect of pre-existing psychoanalytic theory, rather than a revision. Broad-based definition of intersubjectivity in the recent psychoanalytic dictionaries of North America and Europe (Akhtar 2009; Auchincloss and Samberg 2012, Skelton 2006) emphasize the multifaceted and multilayered reciprocal dynamic interaction between people, based on their own (conscious, preconscious and/or unconscious) subjective experiences, and varieties of interpenetrating mutually transformative aspects of such engagements, in early development as well as in psychoanalytic dialogue. While there is no definition of intersubjectivity in the recent psychoanalytic dictionary in Latin America (Borensztejn 2014), the entries related to Psychoanalytic Field, Unconscious Communication and Theory of Communication also reflect similar aspects of inter-subjective


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