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On the Nature of Thoughtlessness

On the Nature of Thoughtlessness

(p.61) Chapter Six On the Nature of Thoughtlessness
Moral Stealth
University of Chicago Press

Psychoanalysts like to think that the subjectivity that enters into their practice can be studied and scrutinized, and so reduced to a minimum. It seems not surprising that a good deal of this subjectivity is allowed to go unexamined and unrecognized on the basis of what is considered unquestioned and unquestionable. Much of this “taken for granted” material falls under moral and ethical guidelines, and thoughtfulness and thoughtlessness are readily seen as belonging to such material. At a minimum, a careful unpacking of otherwise unassailable issues ranging from confidentiality to responsibility to all sorts of rules of conduct can only be of benefit to the psychoanalyst's wish for objectivity. This chapter, which explores thoughtlessness in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, first provides an overview of thought to gain some perspective as to when and why certain people are thoughtful and others thoughtless. It then looks at the sources of a patient's thoughtlessness.

Keywords:   psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, thought, thoughtlessness, patient, psychoanalyst, subjectivity, objectivity

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