Toward a model of the therapist

In working with neurotics, the therapist must always express a desire for patients to continue, even if he or she feels that these patients have completed their work.  Such patients will break off when their own desire to move on has become strong enough and determined enough.

…This obviously implies that the analyst is an actor or actress who plays a part which does not necessarily convey his or her “true feelings.”…The analyst may find a patient unpleasant and annoying, but of what use is it to let the patient know this?  The patient may very well react to an expression of the analyst’s antipathy by leaving analysis altogether, or by trying to make him- or herself pleasant and interesting to the analyst, censoring certain thoughts and feelings which he or she thinks might annoy the analyst, instead of getting down to true analytic work.  Counterproductive reactions to say the least!  The analyst must maintain a position of desire — desire for the patient to talk, dream, fantasize, associate, and interpret — regardless of any dislike he or she may have for the patient.

That is from Bruce Fink’s often quite interesting A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis Theory and Technique, which I suppose also doubles as management advice.

By the way, here is today’s (closely related) David Brooks column.  Alex passes along this link.


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