Model Scenes, Affects, and the Unconscious /
I N RESPONSE TO MY CONCEPTION OF "MODEL SCENES" in the Prologue to the Psychoanalytic Inquiry issue on Application of Infant Research to Adult Psychoanalytic Treatment, Gunsberg (1987) wrote:
While "model scene" is an unfamiliar designation, the use of prototypic episodes to describe experiences of major significance to psychoanalysis began with Freud's recognition that psychological events structuring the dynamics of children of four and five were dramatized in the myth of King Oedipus. For other examples, picture a 30-month old, somewhat reluctant toddler being persuaded to try once more to use the potty seat, or the 20-month old toddler moving excitedly away from mother and then, realizing the distance, glancing back for reassurance. Each familiar model scene orients a therapist to recognize a problem that a patient may talk or dream about or reenact with the therapist. Interpretation is the means that the analyst uses to convey recognition of the unfolding
model scene, the patient's part in it, and the part assigned unconsciously to the analyst.