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I’m really glad you liked this series, Inez 😊 I’ll let Adam know about your comments!

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Dec 18, 2023Liked by Awais Aftab

Bravo ! This was such a pleasure to read, which can be a real feat when the subject is psychoanalysis! It was very readable and relatable. I love Ogden because we see him in action with the intention he wishes for us, we see him making Winnicott and Bion his own in these papers and imporing us to do the same. He wants us to make his writing our own. I'm reminded of a quote from Whitman's Song of Myself, " You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, not look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books. You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, you shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself."

There is a humility and integrity in the way Ogden lives the 'unsaturated interpretation' (a Bion would put it) as compared to the stale, rote, often jarring and totally out of touch 'saturated' interpretations that can come to mind when someone hears about psychoanalysis from a person who treats it like a cudgel with the magical ability to transform anything it comes into contact with into its own phallic likeness.

I am a first year fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry. I find myself so enamored with the spirit of psychoanalysis and especially with the word, but recoiling from the institution. It makes sense then that I am drawn toward mystics generally and toward Bion so much (who has by some been labeled a mystic).

I would be very interested to hear your perspective about how you've navigated the two domains. What do led you to take the leap to becoming an analyst? What does the institution and title give you that the words and ideas alone can not? I know part of the literal answer is your own analysis and supervision but in my experience most analysts (even the ones who purport to love Ogden) dont practice like him. Sometimes I feel like Dante - devoted to Catholicism and walking through a hell I see filled with popes.

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Dec 19, 2023Liked by Awais Aftab

Thank you SO much for your comments. I am very touched.

The topic of how I have navigated my various domains is complicated. I have a paper in review right now which deals with this, but I am also open to talking more via email if you’d like. I am not a psychoanalyst, by certification. I do not use the title and have not had it conferred upon me by any institution with the authority to do so. I am also a psychoanalyst, in the sense that those factors of what it means to be an analyst, and I understand them, exist beyond a Bureaucracy. I respect the values of formal training; however, I have had psychoanalytic supervision for years, have had a personal psychoanalysis (and still do), and have a vast and expansive history of didactic study. The institutions of psychoanalysis, however, are not designed or built for me, as a latino, firstgen college student, from a background in poverty. The recent Holmes Commission on the study of racism in psychoanalytic institutes has confirmed my thoughts/feelings. I remain a non-psychoanalyst psychoanalyst who exists outside of the institution of psychoanalysis. I take what is useful in my work and discard the rest. Perhaps it is somewhat like Dante!

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