Starting with Freud's (1900) work on dreams and their hidden meaning, psychoanalysis has always focused on what lies behind the surface content of what the patient recounts. The psychoanalytic therapist is not sidetracked by the detailed or colourful content of the patient's narrative; rather, we painstakingly listen out for what the patient may be trying to convey indirectly through the stories he chooses to recount and, more importantly, through the way he recounts them. In this chapter, we will explore the key features of analytic listening as a basis for how to approach unconscious communication in the consulting room.
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