Alchemy in the image of the analyst



The author aims to demonstrate the activation in the transference relationship of a figure representing ‘sameness’ in a number of forms. In the first clinical vignette, she shows how a child projects his own difficulty symmetrically on to the analyst, with the aim of creating the conjunction of opposites which the psyche needs for its growth.

During the archetypal reworking which adolescence provides we again find this figure of ‘sameness’ in the foreground, in the phase of homosexual object choice. A second clinical vignette shows how this figure of ‘sameness’ can be represented in the fantasy or the desire of becoming an analyst.

The author puts forward the hypothesis that this fantasy represents an imago whose characteristics include being a tool for linking feeling and thinking in the inner world; it is constituted in the entre deux, the space between self and other, and, like Winnicott's transitional object, it facilitates the capacity to symbolize. Being ‘off centre’ with regard to infantile positions in relation to the parental imagos, this imago offers a vantage point for ‘evaluation’ (sich auseinandersetzen) and ‘consideration‘ (betrachten). Finally this imago is transistory, because its destiny is to be deconstructed (as shown in the third clinical vignette which concerns an adult patient), in order to be integrated through the work of analysis.