Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thomas Ogden and Glen Gabbard on the Psychoanalyst's Development

Included below are the concluding remarks to a warm, insightful, and inspiring paper on the analyst's ongoing development:

"As Bion (1987) notes in the comment cited at the beginning of this paper, part of becoming an analyst is to evolve in a direction that is neither bound by theory nor driven exclusively by identification with others: "The analyst you become is you and you alone - that is what you use ?" (p. 15). Analytic discourse involves what is unique, idiosyncratic and alive in the particular experience of a given individual. Becoming an analyst necessarily involves creating a highly personal identity that is unlike that of any other analyst. We cannot overstate the difficulty of attempting to live by this ideal. The conscious and unconscious ties that we have to what we think we know are powerful. But the struggle to overcome these ties (at least to a significant degree) is what we ask of ourselves in each session. It has been our experience that, when the analyst is off balance, he does his best analytic work. "

On Becoming a Psychoanalyst”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

C.G. Jung on Personality and Self-Determination

"Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of high courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible freedom of self-determination."

C.G. Jung - Collected Works, Vol. 17, par. 289

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Psychoanalytic Muse at 2 weeks

After just two weeks of operation "The Psychoanalytic Muse" has had 500 viewings from 10 countries - United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Hungary, Mexico, Greece, Iran and Japan.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Christopher Bollas on Shifts in Psychoanalysis and American Culture

"For decades thousands of Americans demonstrated moral courage when they trudged into their psychoanalyst's offices to encounter those parts of their own character that skewed their view of life and proved troublesome to others. In the early 1970's, however, psychoanalysis shifted from confrontation of the self's agency in creating mental pain to the self as a victim of the other's failures. This shift can be seen in the literature, in psychoanalysis but of course most obviously in the so-called "self-help" sections of the bookstores where one finds a very different quest, from self-confrontation, to self righteousness, and from taking responsibility for one's authorship of one's own mental life to blaming others for this. American culture now celebrates tales told by victims. And in the paranoid climate now thriving in the American right wing, especially, we find a search for perpetrators of misery (from immigrants to senators) and almost no insight into one's own destructiveness."

August 24th, 2010 (New York Times - Reader's Comments)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Andrew Samuels on Alchemy

Andrew Samuels speaks to the necessity for archetypal and interpersonal approaches to the psyche to inform one another rather than falling into a splitting of experience.  Click on the "comment" link immediately below to leave your thoughts:

"The interpersonal and the imaginal are equal partners and the technical implication is that content analysis and process analysis can, must coexist. Alchemy helps us to bear this in mind."

From "The Plural Psyche" p. 177, by Andrew Samuels, London: Routledge, 1989

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Muriel Dimen on the Unspeakable

In the following passage Muriel Dimen speaks to the potential liberation and inherent possibilities that exist in the analytic process.  To leave a comment about the current post just click on the word "comments" immediately below the post:

"The psychoanalytic session is a chance to say the unspeakable and think the unthinkable. To imagine what does not yet exist."

Muriel Dimen from "Strange Hearts: On the Paradoxical Liaison Between Psychoanalysis and Feminism," in Freud: Conflict and Culture edited by Michael Roth, New York: Knopf, 1998.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

C.G. Jung on the Paradox of Learning

In the excerpt below Jung discusses the inherent paradox of learning and the impact of that process on consciousness and instinct.  To leave a comment about the current post just click on the word "comments" immediately below the post:

"Nothing estranges man more from the ground-plan of his instincts then his learning capacity, which turns out to be a genuine drive for progressive transformation of human modes of behavior. It, more than anything else, is responsible for the altered conditions of his existence and the need for new adaptations which civilization brings. It is also the ultimate source of those numerous psychic disturbances and difficulties which are occasioned by man's progressive alienation from his instinctual foundation, i.e. by his uprootedness and identification with his conscious knowledge of himself, by his concern with consciousness at the expense of the unconscious. The result is that modern man knows himself only in so far as he can become conscious of himself....Separation from his instinctual nature inevitably plunges civilized man into the conflict between conscious and unconscious, spirit and nature, knowledge and faith...."

C.G. Jung (1957). The Undiscovered Self.  Collected Works Vol. 10, paragraphs 557-558.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lewis Aron, PhD on the Psychoanalytic Process

In this passage, Dr. Aron, associated theoretically with the field of relational psychoanalysis, speaks to the centrality of the listening process in analysis.  To leave a comment about the current post just click on the word "comments" immediately below the post:

"That is what psychoanalysis is. That is what we offer: We listen to people in depth, over an extended period of time and with great intensity. We listen to what they say and to what they don’t say; to what they say in words and to what they say through their bodies and enactments. And we listen to them by listening to ourselves, to our minds, our reveries, and our own bodily reactions. We listen to their life stories and to the story that they live with us in the room; their past, their present, and future. We listen to what they already know or can see about themselves, and we listen to what they can’t see in themselves. We listen to ourselves listening. Psychoanalysis is a depth psychology, which means that we listen in depth and teach our students to listen. Whatever managed care says, and whatever drugs are prescribed, and whatever the research findings, people still want to be listened to in depth and always will. That’s why there will always be patients who want and need an analytic approach and why there will always be therapists who need to learn it." (Aron quoted in Jeremy Safran, 2009 Interview)