Dear all,

I would like to start by addressing Nina Balogh's comment. Her words made me think if when we act as analysts, we are capable of really listening to the opinions from the patient and also listening to and remembering our own experience as patients. Some analysts (e.g. Haydée Faimberg) have stressed the importance of listening to the listening, which means listening how patients listen to our interventions. In empirical research we have many questionnaires trying to get the less-contaminated opinion from the patients but they are only answers to the questions that we formulate.

Dr. Audrey Cantlie recalls her analysis with Bion and she comments: "He did not speak 'about me', he spoke 'me' ". I am not sure to fully grasp what Cantlie means with this, but I am sure that there is something important there. Even if she could not recall any interpretation in particular, I suppose what happens in the analysis touches something very essential in herself. As I gradually acquired more experience as a psychoanalyst and felt more free from theories and "right" interpretations, I also sometimes think that it is me who is speaking, not my knowledge or my ideas, but just me. And, at the same time, I have become more respectful of the patient and more aware of how much I ignore about the patient, although I sometimes feel that I am talking with words that belong to the patient. I find that this kind of encounters are the essential ones in analysis, though probably not recalled in the narrative biographical way, but in a more procedural way. 

I felt I agreed with Burgoyne's comments, even in some points where at first sight apparently we did not. For example, regarding truth, I think that I may have not expressed myself with sufficient clarity, because it has been easy for me to coincide with his ideas. I would like, though, to pinpoint one crucial aspect: the place of analogies, metaphors and models in our psychoanalytic thought. Please allow me to call these "mini-models". I believe they emerge from our clinical work and they are necessary for our dialogue with the patient, but we want often to transform these mini-models in worldviews. In his contribution, Dr. Hogenson remembered the concept of paradigm by Kuhn. In this regard, I find of interest the different meanings that Margaret Masterman (in Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, 1970, Ed. Lakatos, I. and Musgrave, A., p. 59) has remarked in the use of the term paradigm in Kuhn. She states that in some cases it gets closer to a metaphysical vision, in others to a sociological phenomenon, and in others to a practical construction to solve puzzles. I believe that in this last case, more modest, we can include the mini-models that we use in our practice and which allow us a better exchange among ourselves. They also enable a more critical and reflexive discourse while the other two take us to a more demonstrative or geometric one, or to a more rethoric discourse centered in the effects in the audience.

I would also like to thank Susan Tilley for her comments, which I think that rightly remind us that science has to move among hardly compatible theories. She mentions as an example the theory of relativity and quantum theory. We can remember the difficulty to conceive light as a particle or as a wave, etc. For this reason I believe that our big metapsychological theories are like mines from which we can continue exploiting and extracting useful hypotheses and suggestions which must be used more than analogies, mini-models or fragmentary mini-theories but which help us to explain better what happens in our clinical work, which may be acknowledged in testimonies of experience that we have in our analysis, both as patients and analysts and that, after all, serve better for the patient's benefit.