Attention, interpretation, identity and narcissism.Int J Psychoanal. 1989; 70 (Pt 2):255-63.IJ
Disturbances of the analyst's attention and interferences in the interpretation process are correlated with narcissistic resistances (NR). Interpretation is considered, not only as verbal communication about the patient's unconscious contents, but also as the analyst's instrument to re-establish subject-object discrimination, altered by the archaic aspects of transference. Different types of NR lead to different transference configurations, with specific patterns of involvement of the analyst. The author describes the characteristics of the object relationships in patients with NR predominance and some genetic hypotheses are proposed. The analyst's tolerance of primitive mental functioning, his permeability and capacity to sustain evenly suspended attention are correlated; a comparison is drawn with some neurophysiological findings about attention. Finally, the importance of temporality in these functions is discussed, with some thoughts regarding its role in the outcome of the analyses mentioned by Freud in 'Analysis terminable and interminable'.