Dana Amir is a clinical psychologist, supervising and training analyst at the Israel psychoanalytic society, full professor, vice dean for research and head of the interdisciplinary doctoral program in psychoanalysis at Haifa University, editor of Maarag – the Israel Annual of Psychoanalysis (the Hebrew University), poetess and literature researcher. She is the author of six poetry books, two memoirs in prose and four psychoanalytic non-fiction books: Cleft Tongue (Karnac, 2014), On the Lyricism of the Mind (Routledge, 2016), Bearing Witness to the Witness (Routledge, 2018) and Psychoanalysis on the Verge of Language: Clinical Cases on the Edge (Routledge, in print). She is the winner of many literary as well as academic prizes, including five international psychoanalytic awards.
This presentation discusses the malignant ambiguity typical of incestuous language: the ambiguity of revealing and concealing, which creates a language that pretends to produce meaning and enable links whereas, in fact, constitutes a violent attack on linking. Through a detailed description of two clinical cases, the formation of two defensive positions is demonstrated: one involves the overall flattening of three-dimensionality, and the other is a defensive pseudo-phallic position employing various modes of ejection by way of fending off penetration. Finally, the article focuses on the inherent ambiguity of the therapeutic scene and the critical role of the therapist’s work of reverie as enabling the reclaiming of both the patient’s and the therapist’s psychic polyphony.