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  • January Reading Group - Jessica Benjamin's paper: Beyond Doer and Done to: An Intersubjective View of Thirdness

January Reading Group - Jessica Benjamin's paper: Beyond Doer and Done to: An Intersubjective View of Thirdness

  • January 13, 2016
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 451 Mary Louise, San Antonio, TX 78201

Our monthly reading group will continue meeting on Wednesday, January 13th, 7:30 PM at 451 Mary Louise, San Antonio, TX 78201. SASPS Members can click here to download the .pdf (login required)

​This month’s reading will continue our discussions on a series of papers addressing issues related to therapeutic technique.  We will discuss Jessica Benjamin's paper:  Beyond Doer and Done to: An Intersubjective View of Thirdness.  Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 2004, 73, 5-46. This article is one of the most frequently cited publications in the PEP-WEB psychoanalytic database.  Jessica Benjamin, one of the foremost writers in the area of feminism and psychoanalysis, develops the concept of thirdness as a process of cocreation of a reality outside of either the therapist's or patient's subjectivity, a process she deems critical to resolving therapeutic impasses.   Benjamin says: 

As psychotherapists, when we are caught in such interactions, we may tell ourselves that something mutual is at work, but actually be full of self-blame. Yet this attribution of responsibility to self truly does not really help to extricate us from the feeling that the other person is controlling us or leaving us no options. Caught, boxed in, unable to think. It is as if the essence of complementary relations—the relation of two-ness--is that submission or resistance to the other’s demand appear to be the only choices. The question of how we get out of complementary twoness, which is the formal or structural pattern of all impasses, is where intersubjective theory finds its real challenge (Benjamin, 2007)


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