‘Counterdreaming’ is Donald Meltzer’s term for the psychoanalytic reverie that arises from the countertransference during the session, in response to the analysand’s own dreams and phantasies. He writes: ‘It is difficult to explain the technique of counterdreaming… I compare it with waiting in the dark for the deer, grazing at night, seen by their flashing white tails.’ This nocturnal vigilance is on the alert for movement of the quarry, part object minimal movements which with patience can be seen to form a pattern of incipient meaning cast before.
The contributions in this book belong to analysts and psychotherapists of widely different ages and experience and from a variety of countries, languages, and institutional affiliations. Their experience of counterdreaming, sometimes in the form of actual dreams and sometimes as dreamlike reactions to specific clinical situations, makes vivid the struggles and rewards of the method. In addition to viewing the psychoanalytic session from the other partner’s vertex, they help to establish the senses in which the practice of psychoanalysis may be seen as an autobiographical art–science rather than solely investigating confidential material of the analysand. Contributions suggest it can apply also to technology-mediated analysis; and is also an appropriate way of seeing supervision situations.