Unconscious freedom and the insight of the analyst: Exploring neuropsychological processes underlying "Aha" moments

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Abstract

This article explores the insight of the analyst and the concept of unconscious freedom. By insight, the author is referring to those sudden bursts of realization, the "aha" phenomena. Arising from the unconscious of the analyst, these emotional insights can help break an impasse or curtail an enactment. Unconscious freedom is the analyst's ability to function in the implicit or unconscious relational realm with empathy and sensitivity while relatively free of anxiety. This freedom facilitates the emotional "aha." Clinical examples are given. Recent research in neuroscience illuminates these processes, prominently the role of the right hemisphere. Although we are in the early stages of the integration of neuroscience findings and the actual practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, this article offers provisional commentary. The author posits that by understanding the neuropsychological aspects of insight and unconscious freedom, analysts will be better able to facilitate this process in themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-339
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

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