One of the foundational texts of interpersonal psychoanalysis,
Prelogical Experience (1959) is a pioneering attempt to elaborate
an interpersonal theory of personality that encompasses the
nonpropositional, nonverbal dimension of human experience.
Prelogical processes, the authors hold, cannot be consigned to
infancy; rather they shape experience throughout life and are
especially salient in relation to dreams, emotion, perception, and
Of special note is Tauber and Green's elaboration of the
clinical situation that grows out of an appreciation of prelogical
experience. In a striking anticipation of contemporary thinking,
they approach patient-therapist interaction in terms of the
continuous exchange of "presentational data" by patient and
analyst. These data enable patient and therapist alike to "know"
more about the other than can ever be expressed in propositional
This perspective assigns an important role to what Piaget would
term "the cognitive unconscious" in the clinical process. It
likewise sustains a view of the countertransference - which
includes the analyst's own dreams - as a vital source of
presentational data about the patient. As Donnel Stern notes in his
Introduction, these and other insights "amount to a surprisingly
contemporary description of psychoanalytic treatment."
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