This study of power in the eroticized transference-countertransference presents two sessions in the middle stage of an analysis of a woman struggling with issues of anxiety about her own power and a belief that her love and desires are destructive, toxic, and murderous. The case is presented from a neo-Kleinian/relational perspective in which the analytic strategy focuses on the development of enactments and transitional experiences and the use of evocative, presentational language, in contrast to a more traditional interpretive strategy in which discursive language concentrates on historical explanation and the differentiation of fantasy and reality. The two contiguous sessions begin with the patient’s concerns about the bad behavior of the analyst and his male colleagues at an institute group-process conference. These reservations reflect the patient’s anxieties about potential destructiveness and aggression, her resentment about the unfairness of men’s sense of social and professional privilege, and the use of sexuality to dominate and control others. The analysand initially presents her concerns in an abstract, intellectualized, impersonal manner with little affect or connection between external events and her internal world.
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Document Type: Research Article
Director, Postdoctoral Programs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Adephi University, Garden City, NY; Supervisor, Postodoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University, NY
July 15, 2005