On Time and the Deepening of Analysis

October 1, 2013
Lecturer: Lucy LaFarge, MD
Discussant: George Sagi, MD

The metaphor of depth has most often been used in analytic thinking to denote extension in space or time. Depth, and its companion term, deepening, may also be used to describe quality rather than distance; something is deep when it is serious or important. The deepening of analysis is linked to temporality but not in a linear way. Analysis deepens as it sets in motion a series of changes in the experience of time: The past comes alive and is worked through. Past and present come into a new relation with one another. The analytic frame and the rhythm of the exchange between patient and analyst also bring to life past experiences and fantasies to do with time. Both patient and analyst must enter a fluid time-state in order for deepening to occur. Clinical examples illustrate these dimensions of temporal experience and the way they emerge in the deepening analytic process.