In her attempt to find the words that touch, the author gives a succession of illuminating examples to indicate what a psychoanalyst and her patient may experience in the transference relationship during the course of an analysis. On the basis of her clinical experience, the author points out that we all use relatively mature psychic mechanisms and others of a more primitive nature, the former being accessible to symbolism and the latter less so. However, she notes that some can tolerate the awareness of their heterogeneity even if on occasion it causes them pain, while others are rendered so anxious by their lack of inner cohesion that they are afraid of losing their sense of identity. These people particularly need to be touched by words capable of simultaneously evoking fantasies, thoughts, feelings and sensations if they are to be able to unfold their psychic freedom and creativity to the full.
Foreword -- The psychoanalyst of the future: wise enough to dare to be mad at times -- Heterogeneous patients: anxiety at heterogeneity -- A language that touches -- A language that addresses the patient’s “mad part” but does not forget the part that is not mad -- Oedipus in search of integration -- The interpretation of projective identification -- Words already touch in the preliminary interviews -- Touching with words and not with actions -- The words don’t matter provided that they touch -- Fragmenting splits, or The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (Steeman, 1939) -- Words that touch bring time to life -- Listening to Freud and speaking to the psychoanalysts of the future -- A vast internal world