The very interesting subject of self-analysis has in my view received less attention than it deserves. Let me begin by distinguishing the various senses in which the term ‘self-analysis’ is used.
There is an ongoing ‘self-analysis’ in which analysts engage as long as they are working with patients. There is nothing new about the idea that every patient can be regarded as belonging to an as-yet unexplored ‘province’ of analysts, who, for their part, are enriched and transformed by every patient with whom they work. For instance, I was able to ‘penetrate’ in depth into the concept of autism through my work with patients with signiﬁcant autistic ‘pockets’; as a result I was also able to re-own autistic aspects of my own which I had never had the opportunity of allowing space to express themselves, which had remained unrecognized and which could from then on potentially begin the process of transformation. This situation also made me aware that these pockets were much more extensive in my mind than I had ever supposed – until I recalled a childhood dream of mine in which I arrived by boat at a port in a certain town and saw the entire landscape as two-dimensional and lacking thickness, as if the buildings were mere façades like those of a ﬁlm set.