No free associations

When the patient talks about blood, I know what it means and I can produce plenty of associations, but the patient produces none. So I can either let an association of his pass without proper interpretation, and so feel an opportunity is lost, or I can use my own associations and give an interpretation that, in my giving of it, makes me abandon my position as an analyst and become a participant in his game—a game played according to rules of which I am not aware. But I do this if I do not give an interpretation.

From this point of view it might be put thus:

P. Blood. Now it’s your turn to play.

A. (silent)

P. (to himself) What! Doesn’t know what blood is? He must be mad.

A. Blood is your common sense which you feel is seeping away.

P. Yes. (And then follow more remarks which are in fact not comprehensible to me, but are to him because they are part of a game which only he understands. This game is a sexual one—sexual, that is, in the eyes of someone.)

Bion

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