In this paper I talk about the relationship or link between unconscious and conscious material. When the link is optimal we are warmed by the fires of the unconscious so that what we say and do has meaning—it is alive. When the link between conscious and unconscious is too close we are in danger of being burned to a crisp. The present is the past and the world of consensual reality pales in comparison to the emotionally charged unconscious fantasy pressing for discharge. An extended case vignette is used to illustrate the links between past and present as they unfold in a patient’s life and between analyst and patient.

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My thanks to Ruth Oscharoff for her helpful suggestions during the preparation of this paper. My thanks also to the members of my Writers Group for their input.

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Correspondence to Allan Frosch.

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1Allan Frosch, Ph.D., Faculty, Training Analyst and Supervisor: Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; Training Analyst and Supervisor: International Psychoanalytical Association; Faculty: Institute for Psychoanalytic Education (NYU Medical School). Faculty: Manhattan Institute.

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Frosch, A. WARMED BY THE FIRES OF THE UNCONSCIOUS OR BURNED TO A CRISP. Am J Psychoanal 76, 111–121 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/ajp.2016.8

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  • fueros
  • translations
  • enactment
  • unconscious fantasy
  • linking