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The psychoanalytical third in the unguarded moment

Dr Michael Williamson

A spontaneous comment arising in the room ‘before the therapy has begun’ is the beginning of the therapeutic conversation. This unguarded moment may be the Looking Glass we both step through if creatively alert. We fall down into the spiralling unconscious, now converting its timelessness into a mirror image of shared time. One aim of therapy is to play outside the boundaries by sharing the boundaries as they ever renew themselves and their meanings. The boundaries are agreed time and space, and also the current limits of chronicle, narrative, simile, metaphor and symbol, as they are felt and dreamed. The present moment has received little attention. Though most elusive, the point of now in the stream of consciousness is the shape of the past and the future through the transference. The cycling and recycling of the unconscious timelessness and conscious time devolve the genetic expression of a nested history of the Self, an ever renewing intersubjective Self. The vitalising psychoanalytic third arises from the Winnicottian intersection of Ringstrom’s provocative theatrical improvisation and the natural spontaneity of the unguarded moment in the Conversational Model.

ANZAP- Australia & New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy
22nd Annual Conference : Conversation on Dreaming
Recorded: 2-5 September 2010. Sydney, Australia.

Michael Williamson
Michael Williamson
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Dr Michael Williamson

Dr Michael Williamson is a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist now working in private practice after lengthy experience in the public health system. He was one of the foundation members of ANZAP and its first NSW President. He is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of New South Wales. Dr. Williamson has been a long term Faculty member of the Master of Medicine program in psychotherapy. He is interested in the psychotherapy of developmental trauma in adults, and the Self in Literature and Art.

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