Thoughts on the limits of a mutual technique.

Thoughts on the limits of a mutual technique. Am J Psychoanal. 2018 Nov 19;: Authors: Frankel J Abstract Ferenczi's appreciation of the inherently mutual nature of the analytic encounter led him, and many who followed, to explore the value of mutual openness between patient and analyst. Specifically, Ferenczi saw the analyst's openness as an antidote to his earlier defensive denial of his failings and ambivalence toward the patient, which had undermined his patient's trust. My own view is that, while the analyst's openness with the patient can indeed help reestablish trust and restore a productive analytic process in the short term, it also poses long-term dangers. In certain treatments it may encourage "malignant regression", where the patient primarily seeks gratification from the analyst, resulting in an unmanageable "unending spiral of demands or needs" (Balint, 1968, p. 146). I suggest that an analyst's "confessions", in response to the patient's demand for accountability, can sometimes reinforce the patient's fantasy that healing comes from what the analyst gives or from turning the tables on his own sense of helplessness and shame by punishing or dominating the analyst. In such situations, the patient's fantasy may dovetail with the analyst's implicit theory that healing includes absorbing the patient's pain and even accepting his hostility, thus confirming the patient's fantasies, intensifying his malignant regressio...
Source: American Journal of Psychoanalysis - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Am J Psychoanal Source Type: research

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