1: Coparticipation and Coparticipant Inquiry 1. Contemporary analysts who use coparticipant concepts of inquiry in their practice do so in varying degrees, ranging from the sporadic or sparing use of coparticipant principles in clinical inquiry to restrained engagement in copartic- ipant analysis to an enthusiastic embrace of its therapeutic potential. These dif- ferences thus define a broad spectrum of clinical inquiry. Analysts who subscribe to the principles of coparticipant inquiry but practice it in a constrained or limited way represent a conservative approach to copartici- pation. These analysts, many of them from the relational schools, stand in con- trast to those analysts whose consistent and comprehensive use of coparticipant theory qualify them as radical coparticipants. I call them radical because they rep- resent an extreme and expansive use of coparticipant principles in contrast to those conservative analysts who use coparticipant approaches in a careful and restrained way. For example, conservative coparticipant analysts might think in terms of field theory but practice it in a relatively limited way, for instance, in their rigorous attention to the so-called standard analytic frame. A more radical copar- ticipant analyst might view this approach as confining and come up with an indi- vidual conception of the frame or dispense with it entirely. A further example illus- trating the distinction between conservative and radical coparticipation is that of conservative analysts who acknowledge the therapeutic benefits of expressive uses of the countertransference but are sparse about revealing their own analytic expe- riences, seldom sharing their experiences or biographical data with their patients. The more radically oriented coparticipant analyst, on the other hand, is very active in investigating his or her experience and invites the patient to do so too. The radical coparticipant analyst is more apt than the more conservative analyst to share moments of anger, hurt, jealousy, anxiety, and the like. Such open shar- ing of analytic experience is, of course, anathema to many analysts not practicing coparticipant inquiry. Another example of how conservative coparticipant analysts differ from more radically inclined analysts is in the attention paid to the analytic convention or Notes 217
Previous Page Next Page