15 Pages

Feeling puzzled while paying attention

The analytic mindset as an agent of therapeutic change
WithSeligman Stephen

This chapter starts with a broad observation of what goes on in the analytic relationship, as it is actually lived every day: the analyst is usually paying careful attention to the patient. This fundamental fact is often overlooked, despite wide agreement about how important it is. Surprisingly, Relational analysts may be among those suffering from this “inattention to attention,” especially as we have featured the analyst’s interactive participation. More generally, while this perspective may seem obvious to many, it is often subordinated to the persistent pressures of analytic clinical work and institutional cultures. Many psychoanalytic metapsychologies and clinical presentations operate at some distance from a comprehensive account of the concrete, specific activities that constitute everyday practice.