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Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Processes in the Analytic Relationship: A Clarification and Response to the Discussions

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This response to the discussions in this issue of Psychoanalytic Inquiry illustrates the use of symmetrical or unconscious logic and asymmetrical or conscious logic in “A Case Study of Power and the Eroticized Transference-Countertransference.” The analytic relationship is described as a developmental process which uses presentational symbols, enactments, and transitional experiences as a means of transforming the patient’s disowned and frightening experiences of destructiveness, aggression, power, and sexuality into an integrated and pleasurable experience of power and sexuality. The two sessions are used to illustrate this process of transformation. I then discuss the five discussions of my case material in terms of the use of symmetrical and asymmetrical processes as well as how each approached the uniqueness of the patient’s history and dynamics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Director, Postdoctoral Programs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York; Supervisor, Postdoctoral Progam in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University, New York City.

Publication date: July 15, 2005

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