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.
Danielle Quinodoz is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Geneva, and is a Member of the Swiss Psychoanalytical Society and of the International Psychoanalytical Association. She is the author of 'Emotional Vertigo: Between Anxiety and Pleasure'.