Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

| a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z
A fairly recent concept in psychodynamic psychotherapy is the notion of subjectivity and its related term, inter-subjectivity. Within the North American schools these concepts signal a distinct departure from traditional and classical views of the defenses first described by Freud.

Philosophers have a distinct notion of subjectivity that this note does not address.

The gist of psychic subjectivity is the notion that each of us lives in a fully operational world that makes coherent sense to us even within its incoherences.

Hence within any mutual inter-relationship, particularly within the realm of the therapist-client world, it is not possible to sustain a version of power differentials like the one formerly found in classical theory.

Each member of the functioning dialogic dyad is a subject and his/her perceptions, feelings, thoughts and experiences radically contribute to the environment in which the ‘therapy’ takes place.

Recognition of the mutuality of subjectivity releases those involved from the excessive burden of maintaining a role-centric interpretation of the process.

Atwood, Stolorow, Lachman and Orange have in various and distinct ways contributed to the concept, following a lead provided originally by Kohut.
| Share

Creative Commons License
Psychotherapy glossary by Toronto Therapy Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

| a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z