As Freud predicted, there has always been great anxiety about the place of psychoanalysis in contemporary life, particularly in relation to its ambiguous and complicated relationship to the realm of science. There is also a long history of widespread resistance, in both academia and medicine, to anything associated with the world of the supernatural; very few people, in their professional lives, at least, are willing to admit a serious interest in occult phenomena. As a result, paranormal traces have all but vanished from the psychoanalytic process - though not without leaving a residue. This residue remains, the author argues, in the acceptably "clinical" guise of projective identification, a concept first formulated by Melanie Klein, and widely used in contemporary psychoanalysis to suggest a different variety of transference and transference-like phenomena between patient and analyst that seem to occur outside the normal range of the sensory process.
Mikita Brottman is a psychoanalyst, author, and cultural critic known for her work on the pathological elements of contemporary culture. She received a DPhil in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. Formerly Chair of the program in Humanities and Depth Psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, she is currently a professor of Humanistic Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her articles and case studies have appeared in 'Film Quarterly, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, New Literary History', and 'American Imago'. She has written influentially on horror films, critical theory, reading, psychoanalysis, and the work of the American folklorist, Gershon Legman.