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Relational psychoanalysis and anomalous communication: Continuities and discontinuities in psychoanalysis and telepathy

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JournalHistory of the human sciences
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Aug 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2017
Issue number1
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)118-137
Early online date28/12/16
Original languageEnglish


There has been consistent interest in telepathy within psychoanalysis from its start. Relational psychoanalysis, which is a relatively new development in psychoanalytic theory and practice, seems more receptive to experiences between patient and analyst that suggest ostensibly anomalous communicative capacities. To establish this openness to telepathic phenomena with relational approaches, a selection of papers recently published in leading academic journals in relational psychoanalysis is examined. This demonstrates the extent to which telepathy-like experiences are openly presented and seriously considered in the relational community. The article then discusses those characteristics of the relational approach that may facilitate greater openness to telepathic experience. The argument is that relational psychoanalysis provides a coherent framework in which otherwise anomalous phenomena of patient–analyst interaction can be understood.

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© The Author(s) 2016. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • anomalous communication, history of psychoanalysis, intersubjectivity, relational psychoanalysis, telepathy

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