Understanding Ogden: Projective identification, the analytic third and reverie
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This dissertation looks at the work of Thomas Ogden and considers his contribution to understanding the intersubjective nature of the therapeutic relation through three key areas: projective identification, the analytic third and reverie. The method used is a modified systematic literature review including a brief clinical vignette by way of illustration. Through a close critical reading of Ogden’s work in these areas, a coherent theoretical and clinical contribution to understanding the intersubjective nature of the therapeutic relationship has been demonstrated. Ogden’s integration of British object relations theorists, innovative thinking and his fascination with the therapist’s subjective experience, combine to produce a progressive engagement with the connection between therapist and client which foregrounds the dialectical nature of subjectivity and intersubjectivity in therapeutic endeavour. His ideas are firmly grounded in his clinical experience and through his open and reflective stance we are able to share in his intersubjective vision; a vision which highlights the tension between formality and intimacy. Conclusions are drawn to inform clinical practice and implications for future research are noted.