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The concept of the 50-minute hour: Time forming a frame for the unconscious

  • The 50-minute hour is a feature of psychoanalytic work that is most commonly discussed in the context of case reports. This paper examines it as a concept. The author starts by describing the origin of the 50-minute hour and its development as an element of the psychoanalytic setting or framework. Next, he considers the significance of the clock as a relational factor in the session and reflects on the alienness of the time of day to the unconscious, and the consequences of this alienness. He then uses a clinical example to illustrate the phenomenon of the stretching effect of time in analytic sessions. Finally, the author demonstrates how cleverly the 50-minute hour excises the time needed for unconscious processes from our accelerated present; he shows that it challenges the social convention of time, and has a structuring effect in that it >times< psychic processes.

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Author:Herbert Will
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 27 (No. 1, 2018), pp. 014-023.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2018
Release Date:2019/03/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):