THE “METHOD OF GAME”: SÁNDOR FERENCZI AND HIS PATIENT DM./CLARA THOMPSON*

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to study the Thompson-Ferenczi therapeutic relationship. Ferenczi paid increasing attention to the way in which patient’s early life experiences were reenacted in the transference countertransference matrix. Ferenczi’s (1931) description of how he “entered into a game” with a patient, has come to be known as enactment. Ferenczi exchanged the word “game” with “play” when patients enacted their past traumatic experiences in analysis. These enactments uncovered the unconscious “dialogue of the game” (Ferenczi, 1932, p. 130), and Ferenczi described them in his Clinical Diary (1932) in his work with Thompson. Using the language of her analyst in describing enactment, Thompson referred to Ferenczi’s Relaxation Method as his “play technique”. During these moments of “play” Thompson argues that the analyst cooperates with the patient in allowing him to relive “childish attachments” in the context of the treatment.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to thank Dr. Alison Carper for her editorial contribution. I like also to express my respect and appreciation to Dr. Judith Dupont and William Brennan for our fruitful and rich dialogues that were a catalyst for my own thinking in writing this paper.

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Correspondence to Etty Cohen Ph.D..

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Address correspondence to Etty Cohen, Ph.D., 113 University Place suite 1004, NewYork, NY 10003, USA.

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Cohen, E. THE “METHOD OF GAME”: SÁNDOR FERENCZI AND HIS PATIENT DM./CLARA THOMPSON*. Am J Psychoanal 77, 295–312 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-017-9096-3

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Keywords

  • Dm./Thompson
  • Ferenczi
  • Clinical Diary
  • Trauma
  • Enactment