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Response to Psychic "Geodes"—The Presence of Absence: 18th Enid Balint Memorial Lecture 2013 given by Professor Joan Raphael-Leff

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Joan Raphael-Leff's fascinating exploration of psychic geodes and their potential effects on generativity prompted me to think about the developmental significance of "the presence of absence" in relation to sexuality as well as loss. My response reflects on this, as well as on the significance of one partner's psychic geode for the other and their relationship, causing me to wonder whether the patterning of the couple relationship she describes might be thought about in terms of the influence of a shared psychic geode, something that takes us into the territory of shared unconscious phantasy. I conclude with some reflections on mutative factors in the process of the therapy that might have accounted for its very successful outcome.
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Keywords: mutative therapeutic agents; psychic geode; shared unconscious phantasy; unmirrored sexuality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2013

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  • Couple and Family Psychoanalysis Journal is a new international journal sponsored by the Bristish Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors, the Professional Association of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships and aims to promote the theory and practice of working with couple and family relationships from a psychoanalytic perspective. It seeks to provide a forum for disseminating current ideas and research and for developing clinical practice.
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