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Keywords:

  • attachment;
  • being;
  • Bion;
  • consciousness;
  • Damasio;
  • discourse;
  • Heidegger;
  • Jung;
  • Klein;
  • person;
  • reductionism;
  • self;
  • Winnicott;
  • Wittgenstein

Abstract:  Since its inception, psychoanalysts and analytical psychologists have used the reductionistic methods of science to explain both human development and analytic practice. The most recent iteration of this tendency uses attachment as the explanatory principle. This disposition has created theories that understand the human solely as an organism. While this is a satisfactory way to view human development, it is not appropriate for the practice of analysis. In this context, the human must be viewed as a person that is explicable in his/her own terms. Interpretation based on reductionism eliminates personhood. Humans appear as persons in ‘the feeling of what happens’ or of ‘being there’, and, on the basis of this experience, develop stories in which their personhood evolves. The psychoanalytic, philosophical and neuro-scientific basis for this view of the human as person is discussed, and its relevance for analytic practice is considered.