Latest NewsPsychotherapyTreatment

Seductive symbolism: Psychoanalysis in the context of oncology.

Beliefs about what caused their cancer are a central facet of patients’ experience of illness. These beliefs make up the patient’s theory of etiology, which derives from various sources, including conscious and unconscious fantasy. This paper highlights this dimension of patients’ experience, and the possible interaction between patients’ psychogenic theories of etiology and their therapists’ potentially generated psychogenic theories regarding patients’ disease. It is suggested that a countertransferential pull for therapists exists to generate psychogenic theory regarding patients’ cancer in the face of the threat of impotency it presents. This is discussed as a seductive pull into symbolism-based understanding of patients’ cancer etiology—a pull this paper aims to characterize. It is …

Read more 0 Comments
Latest NewsPsychotherapyTreatment

Cultural dimensions of intersubjectivity: Negotiating “sameness” and “otherness” in the analytic relationship.

The cultural diversity of Western society has created an increasingly complex psychoanalytic intersubjective field. Cultural, class, racial, and familial dimensions of experience can never be separated in the psyche of the patient or analyst or in the analytic relationship. But the melding of these influences results in particular meanings for each patient, analyst, and analytic couple, and may be crucial to address for authentic connection and change to occur. A clinical case is presented in which uniquely melded cultural, class, and psychological meanings became enacted between patient and analyst, stimulating unexpected feelings in both, which enabled the emergence of a bridge across an apparent gulf of “otherness.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) (Sourc…

Read more 0 Comments
Latest NewsPsychotherapyTreatment

Cultural dimensions of intersubjectivity: Negotiating “sameness” and “otherness” in the analytic relationship.

The cultural diversity of Western society has created an increasingly complex psychoanalytic intersubjective field. Cultural, class, racial, and familial dimensions of experience can never be separated in the psyche of the patient or analyst or in the analytic relationship. But the melding of these influences results in particular meanings for each patient, analyst, and analytic couple, and may be crucial to address for authentic connection and change to occur. A clinical case is presented in which uniquely melded cultural, class, and psychological meanings became enacted between patient and analyst, stimulating unexpected feelings in both, which enabled the emergence of a bridge across an apparent gulf of “otherness.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) (Sourc…

Read more 0 Comments
Latest NewsPsychotherapyTreatment

The problem of unassailability: Analogy and the adequacy of constructions in Freudian psychoanalysis.

In “Constructions in Analysis”, Freud addresses the issue of securing the veracity of individual constructions in the analytic setting. The concern, Freud notes, is that an analyst’s construction in therapy is unassailable, for a patient’s agreement is confirmation and a patient’s disagreement is a signal of repression, which is also confirmation. This undertaking is an examination of Freud’s attempts to overcome the problem of unassailability in “Constructions in Analysis” and in other works. The difficulty of the problem of knowing the correctness of a construction was such that Freud often appealed to analogies—specifically, archeological reconstruction and puzzle making. Were these analogies arguments or mere heuristics? Overall, I argue that Freud did not believe that any co…

Read more 0 Comments