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

Robin Wooffitt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-137
Number of pages20
JournalHistory of the human sciences
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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

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