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The analyst's sham(e): collapsing into a one-person system

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It is common knowledge that there has been a monumental shift in the psychoanalytic paradigm. The analyst was expected to "know" and "interpret" the content of a patient's mind or the motivation of a patient's behaviour. While treatment process mostly centres on the concerns of the patient, it is now clear to us that the subjectivities of both patient and therapist influence the course of treatment. The newer understanding of "intersubjectivity" is that intersubjectivity is, whether or not it is acknowledged or articulated. This article focuses on the analyst's subjectivity, which although is an accepted reality, is rarely clinically conveyed. Rather, it continues to remain hidden. Whatever remains hidden is often subsumed in shame and is therefore not available for reflection or investigation. We analysts are typically wounded healers. Our wounds, and in fact all the particulars of our histories, effect how we organise and metabolise the subjectivities of our patients.
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Keywords: CO-TRANSFERENCE; EMPATHY; INTERSUBJECTIVITY; SELFOBJECT; SHAM; SHAME

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis is a new leading edge journal for clinicians working relationally with their clients; it is a professional journal, featuring cultural articles, politics, reviews and poetry relevant to attachment and relational issues; an inclusive journal welcoming contributions from clinicians of all orientations seeking to make a contribution to attachment approaches to clinical work.

    It includes up to date briefings on latest developments in neuroscience relevant to psychotherapy and counselling and is an international journal with contributions from colleagues from different countries and cultures.

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