This article explores the meaning of subjective time and its implications for the understanding of the nature of the self in psychoanalytic terms. Subjective time, the time experience of intrapsychic life, is distinguished from objective time. Its development and evolution in the course of the life cycle are examined, and various aspects of its phenomenology explored. Implications for the understanding of the structure and functioning of the self, especially the combined influence of physiological and environmental processes reflecting the integration of body-mind in the time experience and self-organization are discussed. Some implications for the engagement of the self in the analytic process are suggested, particularly the focusing of therapeutic interaction in the present moment and the implications of the meaning of structural change in reference to the modification of the self-concept through the revision and integration of memory systems in the present interaction between analyst and analysand.
Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry – Guilford Press
Published: Dec 1, 2008