IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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analysis, and therefore become part of the analytic process. However, the patient also lends the setting his own point of view, influenced by his unconscious fantasies, which will need to be interpreted by the analyst. The analyst should also take into account any observations from the patient on his mistakes. (Rosenfeld 1987; Limentani 1966) Ferenczi promoted greater technical elasticity; he believed that maintaining a traditional setting in the treatment of more seriously ill patients might jeopardize the evolution and survival of the therapy. Ferenczi (1928, 1955) introduced the idea of "tact," whereby analysts may change their technique with each patient in order to facilitate the progress of the analysis. However, this did not mean that analysts could do whatever they wanted in the consulting room. Ferenczi distinguished the notion of analytic tact from kindness. He talked about the second fundamental rule of psychoanalysis , whereby if one wants to analyze others, one must undergo analysis first. In this way, Ferenczi thought that technical differences among analysts might disappear. José Bleger (1967), probably the first analyst who made a systematic study about the setting, described the analytic situation, following Gitelson (1952), as the totality of phenomena taking place in the analyst-patient relationship. He breaks down this situation as follows: process : phenomena that can be studied, analyzed, and interpreted, and frame [encuadre]: a non-process, in the sense that it is made up of constants within whose bounds the process can evolve. According to Bleger, when the patient meets the analyst's proposed setting — the ideally normal frame— it is not easy to detect the underlying unconscious fantasies which remain mute; they will not become apparent until there is a disruption in the setting. For Bleger, the patient’s predominant unconscious fantasy is that the setting is the place where his/her body is in fusion with the primitive maternal body. So, there is the analyst’s setting functioning as the container of the “mute” patient’s setting, which implies the “psychotic part of the personality”. Bleger means by the latter the primitive ego which is undifferentiated because of the symbiotic relationship with the mother’s body. Meltzer (1967), in discussing what he calls the “natural history of the analytic process,” (1967, p. 10) differentiates between two technical issues. One involves what he calls “the gathering of the transference;” the other the “creation of the setting.” He distinguishes these two points, stressing that however important interpretation may be to the “cure” and the development of “insight”, it is not the main work of the analyst as regards the establishment and maintenance of the analytical process. This is done, according to Meltzer, through the “creation of the setting”, a constant work in which the transference processes of the patient’s mind may find expression. Bion’s conception of the setting agrees with Freud that, “an analysis must be conducted in an atmosphere of deprivation,” so that “at no time must either analyst or analysand lose the sense of isolation within the intimate relationship of analysis” (Bion, 1963, p. 15). Bion’s concept of the analytic space conjoins intimacy and isolation. This creation of an intimate and yet abstinent setting is necessary so that an atmosphere is evoked where the reality beyond phenomena, that which is formless, “O,” can be experienced and “become,” not just intellectually known (1965, p. 153). The setting is organized around Bion’s concept of


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