Blogging through writer’s block, rd. II

4 04 2011

I have no desire to craft anything of my own, yet I’m hoping the act of typing will provide me with the necessary momentum to finish off this paper. Without further ado, an excerpt from IS PSYCHOANALYSIS A NARCISSISTIC ENTERPRISE?

The vulnerability…is shame vulnerability, the failure of analysis to measure up to its grandiose self-image. Thus, we are brought back once again to the recurrent link between shame and narcissism.

I am uncomfortable with attributing narcissism to the psychoanalytic situation, method, or movement because, in my view, narcissism can rightly be ascribed only to persons…I think it more correct to say that the analytic method, with its idealization of the transference and its emphasis on transference analysis, permits the analyst to freely indulge his narcissism. Although the patient may be talking about some interaction in his life outside the analysis, the analyst listens to find himself in the material (emphasis his). Were he not engaged in the narcissistically gratifying activity of examining the material for references to himself, he might not be able to listen to patients hour after hour, day after day, with the same quality of attention without drifting into escapist reveries of various kinds.

I view the situation as follows: the analyst is gazing into the reflecting pool of the patient’s material to find himself. Although ostensibly he is looking to find himself as a transference object, I believe that on a deeper, more unconscious level he often looks in the hope of finding his “true self”..’in the last analysis the patient is searching for and reacts to the kind of person that the analyst really is in the depths of his personality.’ I believe that the analyst, like his patient, may be searching for the kind of person he (the analyst) really is which means that often there may be this hidden agenda operating behind the task of analyzing the patient. Looking at it this way, analysis (and much of analytic psychotherapy) could be described as an elaborate, unacknowledged game of “hide and seek,” in which the analyst hides and both parties then seek to find him.

Francis J. Broucek, Shame and the Self

Here’s to the game.

Love and snugglies!




One response

4 04 2011

Confession: I totally thought you wrote that. Evidently I decided to not read the author/book you attributed it to and for that I blame… something else. Surely not me.

That being said, my favorite part was the ‘love and snugglies.’


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