IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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III. Ac. Attentional Sets and Forms of Transference According to Celenza, differences among technical stances can also be viewed by identifying which type of transference is being realized . Prioritizing a directed attentional set is well-suited to evoke and explore a repetitious transference identified by Freud (1916-17). This form of transference is constituted by the projection of figures of the primary objects of love, hate, and identification and the effort at historical reconstruction. Alternatively, transferences constituted by projective identificatory mechanisms in the moment, creating a pathology of the field (Baranger, Baranger and Mom, 1983), initially engage a diffuse attentional set. This allows unconscious emanations to become manifest. These may warrant interpretive clarification, and then, the so-called “second look” (Baranger, Baranger and Mom, 1983, p. 2) engages a more causal, directed attentional set as the analyst identifies a possible enactment through projective identificatory mechanisms (Baranger, Baranger and Mom, 1983; Cassorla 2001, 2005). These then can be identified and interpreted in line with other forms of defense analysis. As noted throughout this discussion, these two attentional sets tend to oscillate in everyday clinical process. Yet sometimes a particular attentional set will be prioritized, depending on the nature of clinical process, clinical goals of the analyst, and phases in treatment. The immersed analyst primarily engages a diffuse attentional set, in order to be receptive to unconscious emanations as they occur in the dynamic field. Then, an observational, directed and causal attentional process can be engaged, depending on the way in which the analyst organizes the unconscious phenomena that have arisen. Historical re-transcription is one such use, but another would be a redistribution of projected splits, while another involves the re-integration of dissociated self-states. Still another may involve the naming (and thereby symbolizing) heretofore unrepresented states. Much of these differentiations occur in retrospect, ‘Nachträglich’ (Cassorla 2005, 2012), as the oscillation occurs naturally within clinical process. A diffuse attentional set is primarily engaged in the effort to integrate dissociative phenomena, eloquently described by Stern (1997) as unformulated experience , the receptivity to which requires more diffuse attentional processes. Dissociated splits can be comprised of split-off affects, a sense of something as yet unstructured and non-symbolized, or as unrepresented self-states. Unformulated experience is not limited to the verbal register and it is experience that does not yet exist except as potential. It is what can become experience (Stern, 1997, 2015). These previously unformulated self-states then emerge in the transference/countertransference experience. A similar distinction between the two sets, though not a one-to-one correspondence, can be made between Laplanche’s (1999) filled-in transferences ( transfert en plein ) and the hollowed-out transference ( transfert en creux ). The former involves the repetition of childhood imagos and scenarios whereas the hollowed-out transference represents the emergence of the analysand’s originary relation to the enigmatic (m)other. The former (filled-in transferences) are interpreted through directed associative links with the analysand’s historical images and


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