The whole of the no-thing: Reply to commentary

Mitchel Becker, Boaz Shalgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We attempt to apply our conceptualization of the absence-presence dialectic and the capacity to disappear to our understanding of the experience and the treatment of trauma. Francisco Gonzalez challenges us to encounter the place of destruction and void where the absence is simply uncontainable. We suggest that the transformational meeting place between patient and therapist entails a reawakening of the movement between absence and presence, being and not-being, some-thing and no-thing, which were previously a frozen or derailed dialectic. The therapist's capacity to surrender to the temporary nihilation of the self within the therapeutic relationship is seen as the turning point in the reestablishment of movement and the creation of meaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-448
Number of pages4
JournalPsychoanalytic Dialogues
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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