The dangers of systematic thought in psychoanalytic work: a riff on listening by Jane S. Hall

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Jane Hall

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2 Comments on “The dangers of systematic thought in psychoanalytic work: a riff on listening by Jane S. Hall”

  1. Justine Kalas Reeves Says:

    It is so lovely to hear Jane Hall’s inspired, encouraging words to candidates and hopefully to institutes about the need for more jam sessions amongst TAs/SAs!

  2. Merle Molofsky Says:

    What a delightful meditation by Jane Hall on what really matters in psychoanalytic relationships and psychoanalytic experiences — listening, of course! — and spontaneity — and open awareness. The comparison of psychoanalytic process to jazz really speaks to me. I am not particularly knowledgeable about jazz — I’m kind of stuck in the 1950’s and 1960’s when it comes to jazz — Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, the MJQ, Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver — and I tend to listen to lyrical music of all sorts. I value the call and response quality of many kinds of music, and believe that call and response, and improvisation, riffing, are the underlying musical metaphors for psychoanalysis. A supervisor or analyst needs to be able to listen, and to respond on many levels.

    I’ve recently contributed a chapter, “The Music of Awakening”, to a book, “Defining Moments for Therapists” (2013), edited by Serge Prengel and Lynn Somerstein. In my chapter I describe a feature of my psychoanalytic reverie, my free-floating attention — I find myself free associating to music — and, after I “hear” a fragment of music, the lyrics associated with the music. I am a poet, and I hear the music of words. At any rate, I really appreciate Jane Hall’s emphasis on the art of listening, deep hearing, over institutional reification of systematic thought, when theory becomes concretized and depth of meaning is forgotten….


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