‘Counterdreaming’ is Donald Meltzer’s term for the psychoanalytic reverie that arises from the countertransference during the session, in response to the analysand’s own dreams and phantasies. He writes: ‘It is difficult to explain the technique of counterdreaming… I compare it with waiting in the dark for the deer, grazing at night, seen by their flashing white tails.’ This nocturnal vigilance is on the alert for movement of the quarry, part object minimal movements which with patience can be seen to form a pattern of incipient meaning cast before.
The contributions in this book belong to analysts and psychotherapists of widely different ages and experience and from a variety of countries, languages, and institutional affiliations. Their experience of counterdreaming, sometimes in the form of actual dreams and sometimes as dreamlike reactions to specific clinical situations, makes vivid the struggles and rewards of the method. In addition to viewing the psychoanalytic session from the other partner’s vertex, they help to establish the senses in which the practice of psychoanalysis may be seen as an autobiographical art–science rather than solely investigating confidential material of the analysand. Contributions suggest it can apply also to technology-mediated analysis; and is also an appropriate way of seeing supervision situations.
Table of Contents:
Meg Harris Williams and Miriam Botbol Acreche
1. An awakening
2. Psychoanalytic listening in a case involving corneal transplantation
3. On somatic communication: when trauma is not accessible as conscious memory
4. Bodily and mental dimensions of the countertransference
5. The imprisoned self
6. An encounter with eyes closed
Nancy Moreno Dueñas
7. Waiting in the dark
Shifa Haq and Shalini Masih
8. Building up clusters of meaning in counterdreaming
Mariângela Mendes de Almeida
9. Countertransference dreams, unthinkable anxieties, and the ending of analysis
10. Dreamlike drawings and the countertransference
11. Tales from nomadic geographies: problems of psychic at-homeness
12. Imagining undreamt and scattered selves
13. Dreaming face to face
Gregory J. Stevens
14. Counterdreaming in digital times
Miriam Botbol Acreche and Valeria Nader
15. Dreaming about patients: counter transference dreams
16. Counterdreams of a psychoanalytic supervisor and researcher
Cecilia Muñoz Vila
17. Counterdreaming in supervision
Miriam Botbol Acreche, Maisa Campos, and Mercè Ferrer
About the Editors:
Meg Harris Williams, a writer and artist, studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and art at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and has had a lifelong psychoanalytic education, working closely with Donald Meltzer. She has written and lectured extensively in the UK and abroad on psychoanalysis and literature. She is a visiting lecturer for AGIP and at the Tavistock Centre in London, and an Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Center of California. She is married with four children and lives in Farnham, Surrey.
Miriam Botbol Acreche is a clinical psychologist and a founder member of the Psychoanalytic Group of Barcelona (GPB) which supervised with Donald Meltzer for many years. She works with children and adults and has a special interest in parents. She taught in Barcelona and Rosario, Argentina, where she lives now. She has published chapters in various books, such as: Teaching Meltzer: A Meltzer Reader, Bebés: experiencias desde un vértice psicoanalítico, De un taller psicoanalítico a partir de Donald Meltzer. She is the author of the books Bebé, bienvenido al mundo (0-3 años), El orgullo de descubrir (3-6 años) and Sueños, símbolos y perspectiva estética: Un trayecto psicoanalítico personal en compañía de Donald Meltzer.