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)


  1. Great idea, Mark! I look forward to following the posts. See you in Boulder--

    Steve W.

  2. What a wonderful quotation! It seems to me that being listened to deeply, in the way Aron describes, is one of the keys to all therapeutic change. A person never listened to in this way tends to believe he or she is not worth listening to at all.


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