Author Topic: Transference in Analysis  (Read 4811 times)

Matt Koeske

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Transference in Analysis
« on: December 19, 2008, 04:52:22 PM »
In my recent expeditions into the post-Freudian, object-relations ideas of the developmental school of Jungian psychology, I have heard championed again and again the importance of the transference in analysis.  The specific understanding and valuation of that transference is one of the main signifiers of the developmentalist doctrines.  On the most basic level, I agree that transference is important not only to analysis, but to all relationship.  But I also feel that my conception of transference is not precisely the same as that conception that post-Freudian influences tend to generate.

I haven't written much about transference at Useless Science, because it never seemed like an issue of great contention or one in need of serious revamping to me.  But my recently increasing awareness of object-relations influenced Jungianism has led me to begin rethinking (and more precisely defining) the phenomenon of transference.  It has thus far been a mostly intuitive and un-languaged thing for me.  I know it when I see it and I value it greatly.  I suppose I have seen it as a pure function of Eros or unconscious relationality and resisted placing the kind of abstract, totemizing boundaries around it that many analysts (especially of the psychoanalytic persuasion) do.

What I'm seeing as I consume more and more articles from The Journal of Analytical Psychology is that part of the valuation of the transference (positively and negatively) in the developmental school includes a repeated insistence that Jung himself (or at least Jungians of the classical school) didn't "value the transference" as much as they thought it should be valued.  I'm still puzzling out how Jung's declaration that analysis should transform the analyst as well as the patient can be reconciled with an inadequate valuation of the transference.  It seems to me that a more valuating opinion could hardly be imagined.  If anything, Jung's notion is overstated, as it would be asking too much of many patients that they should be involved in a transformation of the analyst.  What if they couldn't live up to this heroic responsibility?  On the other hand, in my own personal (more limited, but not unmeaningful) experience of transference phenomena, I would say that a personal transformation of some degree always came out of them for me.  In fact, even as I was usually on the "more conscious" side of the relationship (and knew that a transference was in effect), I often came away more transformed than the others . . . if only because I tend to be pretty open to opportunities for transformation.

I do not know for sure what the developmentalists and psychoanalytically influenced Jungians think is undervalued in classical Jungian understanding of transference, and perhaps classical Jungians after Jung moved away from emphasis on transference during analysis in ways I am not aware of.  But I have come to feel that the term "transference" is for developmental Jungians (as well as various Freudians) a loaded word or totemic expression that means much more than it appears to superficially.  I have often spoken of the inflation or mana-personality as the bogeyman of Jungianism, a kind of tabooed knot of unprocessed, but much feared and fantasied affect very common to the Jungian individuation process.  It seems that "transference" is similarly regarded among those more influenced by psychoanalysis.  Even as post-Freudians and psychoanalytic Jungians have added a great deal of robustness to their conception of the transference, Freud definitely and very clearly made it a central taboo of analysis.  The original Freudian method of analysis was designed in such a way to try to limit the dangerous transference as much as possible (although, I would say that it was very poorly designed to achieved this intention).

My guess is that those Jungians who are influenced by Freud have inherited some degree of this "transference complex" and totemization.  What is interesting about the post-Freudian concept of transference is that it is understood mostly (if not entirely, at least in practice) as a phenomenon specific to analysis.  As one who has been involved in more than his share of transference relationships and who is not either an analyst or a patient, this notion seems suspiciously limited in scope to me.  The limitation of this construction of transference hints (to the old intuitive sensors) that there is some sort of complex tied up with the post-Freudian attitude toward transference.  I.e., obvious blindnesses ("hysterical" blindnesses?) tend to raise a red flag that a complex is constellated near by.

Before I investigate that complex a bit more, I will just say that my general conception of transference is that it is very much akin to other psychic phenomenon such as projection, participation mystique, conformation, and Eros.  In my opinion, these are all fundamentally the same phenomenon, but in different circumstances.  Therefore, "transference" is a staple of many relationships (if not all of them).  We see this phenomenon reflected in the neuroscientific observation of mirror neurons, as well.  It is part of our innate "theory of mind" or projective consciousness.  It is involved in our construction of other people and things, other minds or intelligences or agents.  This constructing process is an unconscious elaboration or confabulation.  Another way of saying this is that it is natural and ubiquitous for us to represent people and things in memory as they "mean" to us or as they relate to us.  If pathologized, we could call this narcissism, but it is simply just the way we think (the way our brains work).  Thinking is relational or associational.  I'm not fond of Michael Fordham's languaging of "integrating and deintegrating", but I do see memory or psyche as a complex system that operates by systemic laws of organization and dynamism.

I worry that analysts have ego-centrically taken on transference like a dragon hoarding the gold it can never properly use.  In this hoarding, the phenomenon of transference is not only squeezed into too small a construct, it is overly pathologized.  We can't rightly call transference pathological anymore than we can call thinking or cognition pathological.  There are no doubt instances in which transferential relatedness is connected to pathology, but it is inaccurate and misguided to blame pathology on transference directly.  What might be a better target to zero in on in cases of "pathological transference" is the projecting individual's failure to construct a viably accurate representation of another person.  There is a factor in the psyche of such individuals that is blocking the other-constructing process of natural cognition . . . and this factor is not the transference itself.  More accurately, we could point to complexes or archetypes that intertwined with the various perceived quantum traits which would be required to make a more-accurate construction of the other.  These quantum attributes are often not functioning adequately in the projecting person's psyche.  Perhaps they have never been utilized or differentiated and/or perhaps they are tied up with pain, trauma, and various shadowed attitudes.

What we can deduce from these projections of "archetypal content" onto others is that our theory of mind process operates with a significant degree of autonomy, and that it goes on constructing otherness with whatever "data" it can use.  We have very limited conscious say over which data is used and how.  Constructing otherness is an unconscious function of our cognition . . . and so it is often filled with the contents of the unconscious.  That means personal shadow qualities and archetypal or instinctual qualities that we could associate with the Self.  What is not as distinctly active in our cognitive process is a way of differentiating between these projected contents and the more or less accurately perceived attributes of the other.  Far from pathologizing this "limitation" in our cognition, I am inclined to think that this "irrational flaw" is the very vehicle of our relationality.  The powerful affective forces that bind us into relationality with others are the stuff of transference . . . which we, more valuatingly might call Eros.  This Eros (as Jungians have always known . . . or at least once knew) is itself a major factor in our species' collective accomplishments and evolutionary success . . . from reproduction to the production of knowledge, art, architecture, medicine, technology, etc.

The developmentalists are also fond of noting that personality (and neuronal growth and organization) is founded and developed through relationality, through Eros, specifically in the infant/mother relationship at the very beginning of life . . . and perhaps even in utero.  Through the interaction of self and other or self and environment or self and "object", we become perhaps not what we are, but at least as we are.

But when we constrict the idea of transference to the analytic relationship, we apply a pathological construct to what could and should be "normal" human relationality.  Of course, the favored notion of transference among the psychoanalytically inclined constructs the analyst as parent (or specifically Mother, or even The Breast) and the patient as infant.  It seems to me that the reason transference is so valuated and tabooed among psychoanalytic therapists is that it is a very reductive paradigm that these therapists try to squeeze all human relationality into.  The "problem" or pathology of transference has to do specifically with the problems that result from encouraging this parent/infant construct of relationality.  As this paradigm is forcibly applied (and it obviously is, as any non-believer can discern from the case study anecdotes of analysts alone), two most common reactions will develop: 1.) the patient will resist the infantilizing reduction and develop various resistances and hostilities toward the analyst or toward the analysis, and/or 2.) the patient will succumb to the infantalizing and begin to envision themselves as infants and the analysts as parents.

Every single case study I've read from the analysts published in JAP (without exception) has related this experience of transference exactly as logic would predict . . . but without any or far too little reflection on the inevitability of this result.  As for patient reaction #1 above, that there would be any surprise at the "resistance to analysis" when an adult is being infantilized boggles the mind.  That analyst after analyst strives to explain this transference phenomenon and "resistance" in technical terms is frankly an absurdity, a farce of extreme blindness.  Of course there is resistance to analysis when analysis involves the forced assertion of an infantilizing paradigm upon the patient!  Reading these case study anecdotes set off a lot of ethical alerts for me.  But the paradigm is religious or tribal dogma and law for this group of analysts, so it seems this paradigm is rarely and inadequately questioned.

In one of the examples I recently read, a patient had been in 4 times weekly analysis for two years, but was still "resisting" the analysis on some level.  The "happy conclusion" was that after some sparring, the patient eventually had a dream of himself as an infant sitting on the analysts lap . . . and then everything could proceed swimmingly.  The psychoanalytic Jungians might have reimagined themselves as Good Breasts and loving mothers to their patients, but I see another darker paradigm . . . that is at least as overtly "Freudian".  Namely, the castrating Father and the castrated Son.  Of course, this could equally be the Mother and/or Daughter.  But I mention the Father/Son dynamic because 1.) it relates to the biblical story of the Prodigal Son, and 2.) it was an essential expression of Freud's Oedipal drama.  So, this "castration" is psychic, and it is not the masculine that is being clipped, but the hero . . . which is every bit as feminine as it is masculine.

There are so many ethical and psychological problems inherent in an analytical dynamic in which the patient "succeeds" by embracing an infantilized self-image and relationality while the analyst "succeeds" by becoming a Good Parent in the eyes of the patient.  The potential for inflation in the analyst and pathological dependency in the patient is enormous.  It is not only the loving, all-embracing, "holding environment" euphemistically fantasized by the analysts.  It is also a castrating, conquering environment where the analyst must "win", conquering the patient into a state of regression.  It is alarming that a paradigm like this that is so contrary to Jung's idea of analysis has become one of the preferred (if not The preferred) analytical paradigms in Jungian analysis.  I couldn't help but think, regarding the analytical anecdote mentioned above, that an analysis that persisted with unresolved resistance for two years, four times a week could only be continued in the grip of a mania or addiction (in both patient and analyst).  The analytical method used in such scenarios must be composed of a substantial and elaborate seduction that woos while also gradually grinding away at the patient's resistance.  The resistance of the patient must be systematically and repeatedly cast in a cloak of shame until the sense of shame over "resistance to analysis" can condition the behavior of the patient.  The old, "if you tell a lie often enough, people start to believe it's true" routine.

Of course, this is no insidious brainwashing plot by psychoanalytic therapists.  It is the result of a religious adherence to a tribal mindset and its dogmas that are not adequately questioned.  This analytical castration of patients is no doubt done with the best of intentions.  And to be fair, it doesn't preclude other, more robust and meaningful forms of communication and relationship between analyst and patient.  Amazingly, as reductive as it is, it still leaves some possibility for transformative relationality . . . which is a testament to the resilience of Eros more than anything else.  But the paradigm, taken by itself and despite the fact that it doesn't always destroy the healing potential of analysis, is deeply flawed.

It is no wonder that the transference is so tabooed, because it holds all the shadowy secrets of the tribe away from the consciousness of the tribe's members.  If these analysts had to reckon with the fact that their analytic paradigm is just as much an inflating castration as it is a good mothering, they would be in for a terrible crises of faith and selfhood.  And the concealment of such realizations is precisely what taboos are made for.  That is why there is a powerful aura of mystery and danger around the transference in these schools of analysis.  The transference is a Pandora's box.  I even write this critique with trepidation, consoled only by the fact that I assume no one will pay any attention to what I write or if they did, that they would laugh it off or flatly deny everything.  But my trepidation is a factor of issuing a very damning criticism while not wanting to destroy a faith.  I know I would find this paradigm unconscionable . . . but I also know that I would find many of these analysts to also be perfectly ethical, complex, and decent people.  One observation cannot be reconciled with the other . . . and that is, again, why we make taboos.

I would now like to go on to say a little more about transference from a non-psychoanalytic perspective.  My understanding of the transference in analysis does not (in my opinion, at least) deviate much from Jung's.  Aside from any unnecessary tabooing or totemization, there is something seemingly magical about this kind of transference.  Analytic transference is a religious or sacred relationship.  That is, it requires a mutual act of faith in something larger than the individuals involved, and the faith experience also involves the Self in both participants.  Jungians (and perhaps especially those of the developmental school) still struggle with the vagaries and abstract temptations of alchemical symbolism, but I know of no better language to use to talk about this analytical transference than alchemical language.  And yet (and this is a notable problem), I feel that Jung made many mistakes in his comparison of analytical transference to the Rosarium Philosophorum his "The Psychology of the Transference".

I have discussed Jung's errors in matching up the Rosarium emblems with stages of individuation elsewhere.  But a more general objection I have regarding this essay is the implication that the Sol and Luna "Opposites" are comparable to the analyst and the patient or that the alchemical relationship between them is a parallel of the analytical relationship.  That notion (to the degree that it is believed among Jungians) represents a misunderstanding of the alchemical Work and an analytical colonization and perversion of alchemy.  To put it as simply as possible, the Sol and Luna figures in alchemy are both internal figures inside the person transforming, and the relationship between them should not be mapped to a patient/analyst relationship.  That said, aspects of these characters do typically get projected in many relationships, including the analytical relationship.  It is not uncommon for the analyst to receive some of these projections, specifically animi projections in the event of the so-called "erotic transference".

But I believe that what is going on during animi work relationships is more complex than analysts tend to realize.  There is a distinctly analysis-centric attitude among analysts (not surprisingly) that works like a rose colored lens, bending and reducing everything to an analytical representation.  There is too little recognition that these forces and fantasies of the psyche are much larger than the microscopic focus of analysis.  These are quintessentially human experiences that occurred before analysis existed and continue to occur outside of analysis.  We should, I feel, be more careful about letting our analytical professions and persuasions blind us.  For instance, we should constantly remind ourselves that something predating and outside of the conventions of analysis (e.g., alchemy) was NOT actually talking about analysis.

I still think it is important for analysts to understand alchemy, because alchemy has a great deal to tell us regarding containment of sacred space and the constructive use of instinctually driven fantasy.  One of the primary things alchemy can inform us about is the nature of the transference.  The alchemical vessel is, I believe, equivalent to a containing transference like the one that can develop in analysis.  Of course, there is already a fairly strong commitment to containment in the "analytical vessel" among analysts . . . but alchemy can helps us understand how to construct and maintain a vessel.  This vessel, though, is not made out of the walls of the analyst's office or the contract of professional analysis.  This vessel exists between the analyst and the patient . . . and is even primarily "within" the patient.  The psychic material contained is the material of the patient and should not become overly contaminated with the psychic material of the analyst.  The analyst should, I believe, assist the alchemical process by helping the patient maintain the hermetic seal of the vessel, and by assisting in the languaging and interpretation of the material contained within the vessel.

As we see in the wild fantasies of the alchemists, the material that the process throws up is extremely volatile.  The patient, once engaged, will definitely need help with the containment.  I believe the fantasies and affects turned up during this work should be powerfully valuated on one hand, but also non-literalized.  It is a very difficult balance to achieve (perhaps impossible).  It is like just the right degree of heat applied to the alchemical vessel.  Too little, and the reaction will not take.  Too much and the vessel will crack, ruining the Work.  The patient should be encouraged to contain the archetypal material in a non-literalizing fantasy, but with the understanding that, although non-literal, this is the "soul" that they are caring for.  This is no game.  The stakes could be absolute.  If the patient and analyst do not take this work with absolute seriousness, with a kind of dire urgency, then the heat applied to the vessel will be too little.  This usually results in the possession of the patient's ego by the Demon of the Complex and the intrusion of delusional heroism, transcendence, or inflation.  The great danger of this is that, in such wheel spinning, the sacredness of the vessel's space (of the instinctual process of healing and reorganization) will be devalued and contaminated with falsehood.  This is something I think the analyst should fight against . . . and many patients will be deeply tempted to devalue their inner experiences in this way.  This is why there are so many "career patients" in analysis who learn all the lingo and sing the right notes, but never transform the "soul".  There is, I feel, too much of a tendency especially among developmental analysts to encourage this wheel-spinning dependency . . . and to the degree that this is done, it can violate the Hippocratic oath to do no harm to the patient.  That is, this is a kind of harm that can be avoided . . . but all too often isn't (as it pays the bills and reflects the analyst's desired self-image).

Therefore, as the patient attempts to devalue the material in the vessel and not fully engage with it, the analyst must be able to recognize this (the dreams will typically acknowledge the slipping) and stand against it.  The analyst should be an advocate of the process, of the Self . . . as it is expressed in the patient.  On the other hand, the analyst must, of course, in no way force a patient to deal with material that the patient is clearly not ready to deal with yet.  This leaves the analyst in a very precarious position.  As a non-analyst, I cannot offer any more regarding what to do with such patients.  It seems to be unethical both to push them toward their transformation and to keep them in analysis when they are refusing their Call from the Self.  Perhaps if I had more experience in this matter, I would have more to say . . . but I can only acknowledge the great difficulty for the analyst placed in this situation (which is regrettably, a very common one).  My intuitive hunch is to follow the cues of the patient's unconscious, his/her dreams and affective fantasies.  But I have seen how doing this can backfire, because the Self is often very demanding of the ego after these healing transformations begin.  The Self is generally less sympathetic to "egoic whining and chickening out" than an analyst would be.  If the patient persist in subverting the Call from the Self and is healthy enough to be dismissed (at least temporarily) without doing harm to him or herself or others, then I would think s/he should be dismissed.  To not do so would violate the sacredness of the soul . . . and this could end up being more damaging to the patient than the pain or shame of the dismissal.  Of course, all of this must be decided on a case by case basis.

Another way of expressing this is that I feel the analyst's primary obligation should be to the patient's soul . . . even more so than to his or her ego or sense of self.  But this is a hard line to take . . . and my attitude on this issue is one of the main reasons I never pursued analytical training despite my interest in Jungian psychology.

Part of the containment assistance or vessel maintenance the analyst will need to perform involves the aided depotentiation of volatile psychic contents.  Most common among these are likely to be despair, delusion, and inflation.  Despair is a natural reaction to getting a whiff of how enormous and demanding the healing process will be . . . or we could equally say, how enormous and demanding the heroic burden will be.  Although the sheer mass of this work is not always the main focus of this stage of the process (as much as it might be in, for instance, the Nigredo stage), it is not only perfectly understandable but even unavoidable that the ego will shrink and cringe at the recognition of the hero's burden.  Although it is only partially correct, in my opinion, Jung described this burden as a confrontation and acceptance (even assimilation) of the shadow . . . and he noted that this shadow work had to be done before the animi work.  I find this somewhat misleading, because it creates the impression that shadow will not be a problem after the animi are found . . . and this is absolutely untrue.

Often the shadow and animi are bound together in the beginning of the process and can seem indistinguishable.  The beginning of the animi work and the rise of the hero or heroic attitude in the psyche occurs simultaneously with (and is essentially the same thing as) the differentiation of shadow and animi.  Part of this differentiation includes a new found allegiance to and love for the animi (which is the initial representation of the Self, albeit one that is contaminated with various unactualized egoic qualities that will eventually be differentiated and "owned" by the ego).  The other half of this differentiation is the realization of the Demon of the Complex.  The Demon of the Complex is the organizational force in the personality that stands for stasis and opposes the dynamism and change urged by the instinctual Self.  The Demon has power over the ego that is exacted specifically through the personal shadow.  The personal shadow is (among other things) that debased (even disowned) aspect of ego that is terrorized by and often subservient to the "superegoic" Demon.  The shadow is the part of us that is afraid to cross the Demon and feels it must comply, no matter how painful and degrading that compliance might be.

Before the rise of the hero (and the beginning of the animi work), the personal shadow, even as there may be some consciousness of it, is connected to the ego in an unrealized way.  This means that the Demon's power over the ego is not discerned as destructive or imprisoning, but is generally seen in superegoic terms and experienced as laws (even righteous laws) that one must obey . . . "because that is just the way things are" or "because that is the natural order of things".  But the rise of the hero turns part of the ego's attention toward the animi-Self, and this clarifies, even defines the Demon of the Complex as a negative force in the personality.  The attitudes the ego is beholden to will not all be immediately differentiable (i.e., what "belongs" to the Demon and what doesn't will take years to learn), but the Demon as a figure (perhaps even a personification) will be apparent to consciousness and will be seen as an opponent.  This figure of the Demon is very easily observable as the Villain in fairytales that depict heroic journeys.  A consistent and valid lesson of these tales is that the Demon is not usually vanquished by the hero directly, but is usually either marginalized or tricked into defeating itself.  Fairytale heroes don't conquer, generally.  But, psychologically speaking, the Demon cannot be conquered or erased from the personality.  In the final confrontation, it is the hero who succumbs (at least temporarily).

As the hero emerges in the psyche, there is likely to be a temptation of aggression at the personal shadow, the "weak link" that binds the personality to the Demon.  As tempting as this is, it is actually counterproductive and even tends to empower the Demon (which will slip into the guise of the hero whenever possible).  In other words, the heroic attitude toward the personal shadow that the analyst should advocate is one of tolerance, realization, and empathy.  In this way, the patient is encouraged to develop more empathy for his or her own suffering and woundedness.  This is not usually very easy to accomplish.  It is much easier with most patients to get them to identify with their pathologies or the diagnoses of the analyst, and although this is perhaps inevitable to some degree, this "pigeonholing" allows the Demon to continue its reign over the personality.  The most effective prison walls are made from abstract stuff, that which can neither be proved nor disproved.  The Demon feeds on these abstract walls and reinforces them.

In order to understand how to language this inner drama, allow it to develop but in metaphorical or non-literal terms, and keep the vessel sanctified and sealed, the analyst needs to have experienced and come to terms with the same phenomena (a kind of initiation).  Although my language for this process is different in some ways than Jung's, I agree with his sentiment regarding the training analysis of analysts.  Regrettably, if the vessel and education that a training analysis provides is not organized around the same ethical principles and experiences I have just described, the training analysis may not be adequate to prepare the analyst for patients who are suffering from the threshold experience at the cusp of individuation . . . which is in some ways a need for initiation.  It is the hero within that requires initiation, advocacy, mentorship, and perhaps guidance, because only the hero can heal the personality.  The hero or heroic attitude or heroic ego is truly the savior of the personality . . . and the analyst needs to recognize this and how to foster it.

But this brings us to another common problem (especially among Jungians): inflation.  Above, I mentioned that the bogeyman of Jungianism is inflation (and suggested that the psychoanalytic bogeyman is transference, especially regarding a Parent/Infant dynamic).  As part of coming to terms with the Jungian bogeyman of inflation, I think there should be a higher degree of tolerance for inflation in the process.  Inflated delusions or heroic identifications are not themselves the real problem.  It is the containment of these delusions and inflations in the alchemical vessel that matters most.  The deliteralizing of the inflation fantasies and the discouragement of the wish for the ego to become the hero entirely or in relationship to the outer world are perhaps all the resistance to inflation that the analyst should offer.  This is more of a redirection than an opposition.  The idea of the personality becoming absolutely heroic is very attractive to the Demon, because this would mean a state of ultimate stasis where no disturbance to the system or intrusive anxieties would plague it.  The Demonic hero conquers every limitation, every inadequacy, every vulnerability.  Cases of severe inflation are equally cases of Demonic possession.

In addition to tolerance and patience, inflation in a patient can be treated with a proper valuation of the hero and animi (syzygy).  The heroic attitude that is driven by instinct is characterized mostly by acquiescent perseverance, an ability to surrender (even to death) and to serve.  The real hero is not concerned with how strong or noble or great it is, does not always know the answer, is willing to make mistakes in Good Faith and to forgive him or herself for these mistakes (as well as repent for them).  The hero is always oriented toward the Other . . . and that Other is usually a Self symbol like the animi figure.  We are unlikely to ever experience the heroic attitude as absolute.  Wherever the hero goes, the humble and afflicted ego is always there . . . and it is common for the heroic attitude to be attached to the ego in dreams for instance.  The hero is also bound to do no harm to the personal shadow.

In a fictional dream example, the dream ego might be struggling with some heroic task and feel a temptation to assault or deny the shadow.  But another feeling that this is the wrong thing to do might creep in and give pause to this assault . . . or perhaps the assault takes place, but produces an intense feeling of guilt and regret in the dream ego.  This is a sign of the heroic attitude . . . and much of the time, even in our dreams, this is about as much of it as we experience.  Another emergent hero dream might show us interested in taking on a heroic responsibility to some Other, but finding ourselves incapable or ill equipped.  Still, the hero has begun to emerge.  More often than not, the depiction of the hero in dreams (much like fairytales) is so humble that its heroism is not even recognized.

I am not sure (largely due to lack of experience) if most cases of inflation are treatable in analysis of what the details of an effective treatment might be.  But I do see that Jungian methodology is ill-equipped to deal with inflation . . . and even tends to encourage it in its fetishization of individuation and transcendence.  Whenever you describe a system of stages of development, some of this is probably inevitable.  But I have been trying to better define these stages and their common affective accompaniments and fantasies in the hope of helping the reader (and myself) see how to more effectively language and differentiate the staples of the individuation journey.  My hope is to add focus and refinement, because in what I have experienced of Jungians and Jungian writing, there is a great deal of vagueness that allows for delusions, misunderstandings, and inflations to slip in unnoticed.  By better defining the heroic attitude and acknowledging the Demon/shadow/hero relationship dynamics, the temptation of inflation is depotentiated somewhat.  Of course, inflation will find a way (because the Demon always finds a way) . . . but if we had a better understanding of the individuation process, we might be able to differentiate wrong turnings more accurately and more quickly.

One aid that I have found useful is alchemy . . . but the Jungian understanding of the alchemical Work (i.e., the psychological translation of this Work) is defective in a few significant ways (which I have discussed elsewhere).  Jungians (especially of the more psychoanalytical and "rational" orientations) have flirted with the outright dismissal of alchemy from the Jungian pantheon, and although I understand this frustration with alchemy completely, I feel this action would ultimately do more harm than good.  Alchemy, despite its complexities and lack of clarity, is still the symbol system that best portrays the individuation process that I know of.  It was not alchemy that failed to "make sense" of individuation.  It was Jungian psychology.  Once individuation is better understood, alchemy will begin to make much more sense.

I cannot say from practical experience what my suggestions regarding an analysis that advocates heroism in the patient and playing custodian for the vessel of transference would result in if implemented.  My most rational guess is that time and experience would bring many refinements.  But I do feel it is a more ethically sound venture to advocate the hero than it is to play parent and demand the infantile from the patient.  The hero-advocating method generates a great deal of progression when it is engaged in and the transference vessel is strong.  Transformations tend to be fairly quick when the transference is strong and the Work is valuated (although accepting that these transformations are not salvations takes a quite some time . . . but ideally this is time spent outside of analysis).  The problematic factor has to do with the possible limitation of the personalities "suitable" for such work.  I don't have a very accurate concept of how many people who enter analysis would be interested in or truly capable of the kind of analysis I am describing.  I say that not because a more "heroic" analysis is too challenging (although, it would certainly prove more so to some patients), but because I suspect that many people who enter into especially prolonged (often psychoanalytic) analyses are not really going to "get better", but to find an outlet for their psychic predicaments or complexes, their diseases.  And analysts will often fall all over the diseases of the patients with motherly attention and diagnoses, as this confirms the identities of analysts (whether or not it helps patients heal).

It must be acknowledged regarding my suggestion of heroic advocacy that as much as we tend to fear our various wounds, failings, and shadow tendencies, nothing strikes as much fear into us as heroic responsibility.  I have seen people pursue their individuation fantasies with great commitment only to run screaming as soon as they recognized what real heroism asked of them.  The fantasy material of individuation (including a sense of the hero and a vision of the Goal) comes to us spontaneously and instinctively when we arrive at the threshold of transformation and healing.  But the observation, even the worship, of this material is not the same thing as actually picking up the heroic burden.  The fantasies are grand and exciting, but the heroic burden is humbling, plain, small . . . and it can make the ego feel small and impotent.  It is much harder to genuinely depotentiate the Demon's control over the ego in some specific situation or to truly love and be willing to die for one's animi than it is to entertain and even appreciate the fantasies of these things.

It should go without saying (but perhaps not) that an analyst should not try to hold the patient to a heroic standard.  The patient needn't "be heroic" . . . it is the engagement of the heroic attitude in regard to healing or psychic reorganization that must be courted in order for that healing to take place.  The heroic attitude never comes in lieu of shadow or weakness or impotence or enslavement to the Demon.  It is always an addition and not a substitute.  There are times (I can imagine) in an analysis in which some version of "tough love" or heroic advocacy that borders on expectation is called for . . . but it is perhaps impossible to know for sure if that tack is the right one.  Sometimes the placement of "adult" expectations on another person is precisely what they need in order to find their adulthood and sense of responsibility . . . but at least as often, this will backfire and allow the patient to see the analyst as an unsympathetic taskmaster.  Perhaps the deciding factor is the quality of the vessel, the transference.  If the transference is strong, the vessel well-sealed, then the analyst has more room to challenge the patient with mentorship as well as providing a more "parental" acceptance and sacred space.  I know for instance that I have always responded much better to such challenges than to non-action . . . but men are essentially socialized to value such things more than women are (on average, at least).  Women, even today, are still socialized to identify more as martyrs than as heroes . . . and the difference is often very difficult to discern.

Another issue that I haven't addressed is Jung's thoughts (in "The Psychology of the Transference") about the transference having incestuous characteristics.  Jung was undoubtedly correct in attributing either Mother/Son or Sister/Brother incest symbolism to the alchemical process (as depicted in the Rosarium sequence, especially).  As critical as I am of psychoanalytically influenced "regression" and "re-parenting" therapies, there is a parallel between this kind of "regression" and alchemical dissolution.  But the dissolution of alchemy, while "reducing" the ego or the egoic resistance to change or indenture to the Demon, does not reduce the hero.  As the dissolution becomes increasingly advanced (approaching the Coniunctio), the hero is actually growing stronger and better defined in the individual's psyche.  It is only at the hero's peak development that it can reunite with the animi figure in the syzygy . . . a reunion that requires a surrender to death.  That heroic death is the acceptance of the ego that the hero is not there to bestow salvation upon the ego in the form the ego has always existed, but to bring about the phase transition of egoic reorganization: the Coniunctio.  The hero, then, is not the promise of transcendence and power, but the harbinger of death . . . the death of the old way so that the new way can be born.  This is of course, nicely portrayed in the Christ myth . . . and that myth can be contrasted with the hopes and wishes of the Jewish messiah cults of that and the preceding eras that hoped the Messiah would be a warrior sent by God to redeem them and smite their enemies (the Romans and the more Hellenized Jews).

But the expectation of the hero is shattered horribly in the gift of a dying godman.  Even to this day, Evangelical Christianity champs at the bit for a Second Coming that will wipe out the enemies and sinners against the faith.  Which is to say that Christianity has still not learned the Mystery and true lesson of its mythology.

It isn't hard to imagine that trying to sell a surrendering or dying hero to a patient hoping to find inner strength and salvation is no easy task for an analyst.  The change brought on by individuation is truly terrible and generally deflating.  Yet, this deflation is not well advertised in Jungian talk of individuation.  Often enough, it is even missing from the fine print of the contract.

Even though the alchemical process paralleling individuation calls for a kind of dissolution in the "Mother's womb", this aspect of the transference should not, I feel, be carried by the analyst.  The analyst is not the dissolving acid.  This "acid" must be seen by the patient as an internal, instinctual thing.  It is terrible (as depicted in the alchemical emblem of the Green Lion Devouring the Sun).  The analyst, in identifying with the regression-encouraging Mother, "accidentally" aligns him or herself with the most terrible force of change in the psyche.  That strikes me as potentially inflating for the analyst and destructive for the analysis.  Even as the instinctually driven process of psychic reorganization is dissolving the ego (and wooing the ego toward dissolution with the animi), it is simultaneously initiating the hero in the psyche, which is the the thing or attitude capable of surviving transformation.  It is the thing that can die and still be reborn, because it can accept change and reorganization.

I suppose we could see the main options of the analyst engaged in a transference relationship with a patient as either advocating the dissolving Green Lion force in the psyche or advocating the survivability of the hero, the thing that can be devoured and not completely perish, the thing that can accept change without losing itself.  The Green Lion cannot or should not be identified with.  It is an utterly "non-human" instinctual force.  It cannot be identified with a truly personified intelligence.  It is the largeness and alienness of the Other, the aspect of the Self too vast to be encompassed in the ego.  The hero, on the other hand, is an attitude we are "meant" to identify with egoically to some degree.  It is a valid anthropomorphism.

For an analyst to advocate the dissolution is to advocate the extinguishing of the hero . . . and therefore the extinguishing of what is survivable and capable of healing.  The dissolution is a force of nature that must be contended with, but in order to make such a contention, we need the hero.  The dissolution does not need the advocacy and support of the analyst.  Analysis should be directed at figuring out how to help the patient survive the dissolution.  Creating an artificial holding environment where the hero is not needed and cannot exist is likely only to make the patient dependent on that analytical environment to feel safe and sane.  This holding environment is not the same thing as the hermetically sealed vessel of transformation, because the alchemical vessel is created to contain the hero as well as the animi.  The vessel is a narrative, a fairytale adventure, an epic hero's journey, a myth through which the patient can begin to instinctually participate in the act of living.  And this narrative vessel is itself contained within the individual (and shared with the analyst).  The idea that the analyst and patient are wholly contained within a vessel (called "analysis") is not truly viable.  This process cannot be imprisoned, but must be given a conduit, an instrument of becoming or developing.  It is important that the patient and the analyst exist in the real world as well as in the narrative (where they exist only partially and in a mythic expression).  The patient and the analyst are essentially the audience to the hero, animi, shadow, Demon, and the theater of the transformative process.

I tend to see the incest symbols of the alchemical dissolution more or less "poetically" . . . and I think we should refrain from applying Freudian emphases and connotations to them.  Yet there is one specific incestuous factor to the Coniunctio.  Namely, the Coniunctio requires first a recognition that the heroic love for the animi that has developed during the animi work is itself a kind of dependency.  This love not only provides a conduit for the Self's libido or inspiration to the ego, it also impresses upon the ego the hope of heroic identity (albeit indirectly).  But just as one has essentially come into one's heroism and learned to valuate the Self above all else, suddenly the ego is asked to sacrifice all this new drive, inspiration, and Eros.  For the final lesson of the Coniunctio is not one that celebrates a kind of hieros gamos, a happily ever after union between ego and Self.  Rather, the final lesson is that the ego must learn how to develop and recreate a sustainable union that has not been provided to it by the drive of instinct (what instinct provides is the affective valuation fantasy of ego/Self coordination).  It is the ego's job to sustain and facilitate the Self, and for this task, the hero must embrace the dying mode.  The heroic attitude is that which always surrenders to the Self in times of conflict between ego and Self.  This isn't a mindless surrender of blind faith, but rather an understanding and strategic (i.e., mutually beneficial) one.  The goal of the heroic ego/Self relationship is not the bolstering of the ego, but the facilitation of the Self and the ultimate survivability, adaptivity, and homeostasis of the organism.

To make the Coniunctio transition, one has to fully understand the nature of one's "incestuous" dependence on the Self-as-Provider and then make a break with that incestuous, provident form of relationship.  The Coniunctio means moving from being the sustained to being the sustainer.  But the heroic quest up until this point is directed at developing the unseverable and highly valuated relationship between ego and Self.  The ego/animi relationship defines the Parental Self, clarifying its positives and its negatives.  But as the Parental Self is increasingly well defined and "known", the knowledge that it needs the ego to "grow up" and shed its (the ego's) dependency is also realized.  The ego learns to see the Wound in the Self, not in the sense of egoic identity . . . and the power to treat that Wound is a power that belongs only to the ego (in the heroic mode).  The ego is either the obstacle or the facilitator of healing (or both).

That said, I am not convinced that the transference relationship between people is necessarily incestuous . . . but there are taboos that naturally accrue to such relationships.  And if these taboos are violated, it is similar in ways to incest taboo violations.  The cardinal and most common violation of transference taboos is the literalization of the transference fantasies . . . acting them out instead of languaging them into symbol and conscious meaning.  So, if the transference took place in analysis, this literalization could mean a sexual or otherwise improper relationship between analyst and patient develops.  Although the fantasy might seem to portray this as tempting, in all likelihood it will be experienced (especially for the patient in whom the vessel is centralized) as a breaking of something sacred, a violation, or crack in the soul.  This may not make rational and conscious sense to the patient, but some sort of loss will be experienced.  It is the shattering of the vessel.

In a non-analytical, romantic relationship the literalization of transference eroticism may be fulfilling in various ways, especially on the short term.  But it is also likely to end the internalized self-transformation process or postpone it to some later time (perhaps many years later).  By literalizing such relationships, it is very easy to lose the real meaning of the vessel, which is individual transformation/reorganization.  We lose ourselves (our "souls") in the other . . . and may then have to spend a great deal of time and painful effort trying to recover them.  Which is not at all to say that such love is not "real" and won't last.  But it is a sacrifice of the Work for the union of literal love.  The potency of the transference vessel, its capacity to generate inner transformations, is entirely dependent on the safe-guarded fantasy the vessel contains, on focused introversion . . . even as there are constant temptations to choose literalization of relationship over that fantasy.  The literal relationship and the fantasy of the transference vessel are simply two different things, each with its own significant value.  But they are not truly interchangeable.

Love that develops without a full-blown, unconscious transference element can progress unimpeded by transference issues so long as each partner in the relationship is above all else committed to cherishing and preserving the vessel of transformation (the "soul") of the other and can ask no sacrifice of this soul whatsoever from the other.  In fact, this is an ideal development coming out of an analytical transference, i.e., the mutual acceptance that each partner's vessel/soul remains intact and un-violated or claimed by the other.  These two vessels can sit side by side and help one another resonate without truly spilling into one another.  But this state of loving acceptance and valuation of the other is generally only possible (in analysis) after the patient has started developing his or her own Logos, the personalized languaging of the ego-Self relationship.

The "dangerous incestuousness" that turns up in analytical transferences is greatly accentuated by the encouragement of the Infant/Parent dynamic between patient and analyst.  If the patient is infantilized, s/he is bound to develop incestuous attachments to the analyst.  These will generally be expressed as desires for literalization of the relationship.  When the analyst has underfed the heroic ego in the patient, this situation can become extremely unmanageable.  Even with constant valuation of the patient's hero, the patient (and therefore the analyst, as well) will struggle significantly with the desire to literalize the relationship fantasies.  And these desires should not be shamed, nor should they be ignored.  They are normal and legitimate.  In an environment where instinct could adaptively imprint, "transference" drives adaptive, instinctual behavior.  My intuition is that, in the artificial environment of analysis, literalization desires should be handled indirectly by encouraging the development of the hero in the patient and emphasizing the unique value of the non-literalized, transformative fantasies contained in the alchemical vessel.

With many patients who develop powerful transferences to their analysts, the analyst is faced with the threat of rather terrifying boundary violations . . . for instance, strong demands that the analyst must agree to the literalization of transference fantasies in order to prove his or her love or demands that the analyst provide access to his or her personal life.  There is no perfect solution to this, no ultimate rule of thumb that solves every case.  It will always involve a kind of judgment call that is fairly arbitrary and gambled.  But the interest the patient might have in the analyst as a person is not inherently pathological.  This is something we ask of all our other intimate relationships, and the hesitancy to provide it in the analytical relationship is one of the primary markers of that relationship's artificiality.  As for those patients who do develop a pathological, even a combative, desire to penetrate the analyst's professional persona, this can at times also be addressed with an emphasis on building up the hero in the patient and making it clear that the desire to "know" the analyst is a kind of disguised affect that must itself be analyzed and better understood rather than literalized.

On the other hand, the patient, I feel, should have the right to know the analyst as more than a character in the patient's psychic drama.  To some degree, this humanization of the analyst might become an essential part of the patient's healing process where the hero is accepted as part of the patient's psychology rather than the analyst's.  The patient would have to eventually humanize the analyst in order for the analysis to be successful, because a successful analysis requires that the patient be able to internalize the healer and the ego/Self relationship well enough to invoke them outside of analysis.  This is all well known by analysts, but the particulars still cause a great deal of trouble.  Ultimately, the end of the potentially seductive stage of the transference comes with an act of power of the patient over the analyst.  That is, the analyst must allow the patient some degree of creation/destruction power regarding the vessel.  In order for the vessel to be truly valuated by the patient, s/he has to realize and accept responsibility for the ability to damage and repair it.  Ideally, this responsibility would be recognized rather than acted out . . . but the heroic responsibility of the patient (regarding his or her own healing process or soul) is not truly felt unless the patient has the power and opportunity to destroy the vessel, and yet chooses not to.

Equally, the patient, in order to come into a truly adult psychology, must be able to wound the analyst and choose not to (or repent effectively for doing so).  This is a very difficult thing to accept (for both parties) . . . but at some point, the analyst has to be able to trust the patient enough with the vessel and the relationship to allow the patient to wound.  Part of that wounding (if it is actualized) would involve the bearing of the reaction of the analyst.  Seeing how we can hurt another individual burdens us with the call to responsibility for our own power.  We are not children trying to destroy the indestructible parent any longer.  I can even envision an analysis that seems to end badly on such a wounding note (of the analyst by the patient), but perhaps after and outside of the analysis, the patient learns to reconcile with this act.  All mentors, parents, initiators, and guides must let go at some point . . . and this is always the hardest thing to do.  The analyst would hope to feel pretty confident that the patient can swim on his or her own before such letting go is done.  But we all know that these threshold experiences in our relationships usually come with some degree of pain and bloodshed.

It helps to have some degree of understanding of the initiatory aspects of analysis.  Such understanding, though, is very difficult to come by when the Infant/Parent dynamic is being emphasized and the hero in the patient is not being advocated adequately.

There is one last thing I would like to reiterate and expand upon, and that is the sacredness or value of a functional transference relationship.  There are so many dangers involved in a transference relationship that the benefits are usually given short shrift.  But relationships that contain a strong transference element (analytical or not) always have a lasting impression on the personalities of the individuals involved.  If the transference is kept hermetically sealed and well-valuated in an alchemical vessel, these impressions are generally positive, and we will always look back upon them as transformative, self-defining experiences that helped "make us what we are" (or what we were always "meant to be").  In essence, these experiences give us part of our souls, make our souls more conscious and functional.  And our transference partners will forever be incorporated in the relevant experiences of soul.

This is just as true for negative transferences as it is for positive.  The people who contribute to the wounding of our souls are likely to be constellated (as we construct them) in our memories of that wound as long as we live or as long as the wound is aggravated and painful.  I feel (as the alchemists also often portrayed it) that the transference vessel is something to be cherished and nurtured, very much akin to a child.  The Work-as-child is a part of the sexual symbolism of alchemical sequences like the Rosarium Philosophorum.  The Work is the creation of two beings (self and Other) coming together into one generative/reformative act or process.  As I noted above, the self and Other portrayed in alchemical symbolism as, for instance, Sol and Luna, are both internal figures in one individual.  But the self/other transference relationship indicates that a parallel alchemical process is taking place in each partner in some way.  These parallel processes seem to reverberate with one another, sometimes even getting in phase and informing each other, offering symbolic fantasies and insights back and forth.  This is the primary reason why it is (as Jung said) important that the analyst remain transformable by the analysis as well as the patient.

In alchemical symbolism, the Work gestated by the Coniunctio is called the Philosopher's Stone or sometimes the filius philosophorum.  It is conventional for us moderns (especially Jungians) to translate the symbol of the Philosopher's Stone into a final Goal or static attainment or arrival at an end.  But it is much more conventional in alchemy for the ever-ongoing Work inside the vessel to be referred to as the Stone or "our Stone".  Therefore, from its initial conceived state as prima materia, through all of its transformations and manifestations, the Stone is always the Stone.  As an evolving psychic entity, the Stone is thus like a child, and this means that the Work is a kind of parenting and nurturing.  In fact, this Work begins with gestation, labor, and birth (the alchemists saw this birth as only arising out of death and putrefaction of the prima materia conceived in the Coniunctio).  But even after this hard labor and birth, a great deal of parenting will need to be done.  The psychic transformation of the Coniunctio is a kind of initiation that prepares the individual (the ego) for the parenting of the Stone, which is a great responsibility that requires tremendous dedication and devotion (to the Self).

Even before the Coniunctio initiation, the work (animi work) is challenging, intimate, and "heroic".  That hero building (Self-devotion) will be necessary for the Work after the Coniunctio, even as the fantastic glamor that accompanies the syzygy is depotentiated in the Coniunctio.  A successful transference relationship is most definitely a heroic achievement . . . and that success can only be achieved heroically.  This is why I am compelled to see any analysis that devalues the hero or heroic attitude as self-conflicted.  That heroic spirit or fantasy in the patient must be nurtured, educated, and conditioned so that it can become truly sacrificing, nurturing, and healing.  The origins of the hero in the psyche can seem uncouth or suspicious, and the heroic awakening does tend to bring with it the attention of the Demon (that typically starts off much more powerfully than the hero).  But among these dangers, in these "Woods", something vital is growing, and that spirit, Foolish, arrogant, even somewhat deluded, bears the initiation hunger and the potential for healing in the psyche.  Differentiating the hero from the Demonic imitations and temptations takes time and patience . . . and typically also an initiator.

In an analysis, the analyst is in a prime position to conduct or participate in this initiation process of the patient.  Although this process can never be forced, it should, I feel, be well understood by the analyst.  The patient's heroic spirit is the personification of the instinctual drive toward adaptive reorganization and healing in the psyche.  It is the greatest natural asset to the analyst and should never be brushed off or devalued, no matter how troublesome or contradictory to prevailing psychoanalytic ideologies.  Without the development of this heroic spirit in the patient, the analysis is unlikely to result in anything truly "healing", but will more likely only seem to progress to the degree that the patient accepts indoctrination into the analyst's totemic, ideological languaging system.  I do not mean to say that there is never any genuine healing in psychoanalytically influenced psychotherapies, but I can't help but wonder (in light of the prevailing dogmas) if the heroic spirit is developed in patients in spite of the analysis more so than because of it.  That is, the heroic instinct is the expression of the natural healing/adapting process, and not even the most forbidding analysis can always defuse it.

[Continued in next post]
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]

Matt Koeske

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Re: Transference in Analysis
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 04:53:07 PM »

I don't think that post-Freudian influenced analyses are entirely opposed to all of the traits I associate with the hero.  More accurately, I think it is a languaging issue.  But languaging in analysis of any kind is so important (almost all-important).  And we have to be careful about throwing out the heroic completely rather than learning to differentiate the positives from the negatives.  The concern we should focus on is the shame we (in this tribe) feel regarding heroism.  We have reasons to mistrust it, old wounds that have never been resolved.  From an embittered perspective, we could say that the hero has betrayed Jungianism and proven a poor investment.  But I don't think this is the fault of the hero.  It was an egoic failure, a failure to consciously understand the role of the hero.  We allowed it to become a temptation that "led us astray".  But the hero itself is not the source of that misleading temptation.  It was our failure to truly embrace the much more humble nature of the heroic that has caused our discontent and mistrust.  Essentially, our egos failed to become truly heroic, and now we are sulking.

But the ego is not meant to become truly heroic.  Nor is the heroic meant to be totemized and projected onto an idealized object.  The hero is merely an attitude of valuation.  Sometimes that valuation is expressed in accepting the worth of what one has and can reach as enough instead of yearning for the more abstract, transcendent Goal.  It was our fantasy of heroism that let us down because it's scope was too vast.  But in conflating that fantasy with the truly heroic, we actually failed the Call or initiation of that heroic.  We failed, very egoically, to achieve the heroic fantasy we had projected.  But the heroic attitude in such an event is to persevere, to change directions, adapt, cope.  It is not to conquer and transcend.  We were never meant to achieve that fantasy, but to find true heroism in the recognition that that fantasy was inflated and ultimately hollow.  But instead of coming to this humbling, heroic acceptance, we became embittered at our delusional, transcendent desires and at the whole heroic quest.  This constitutes a failure at the threshold where we followed a previous assumption/fantasy instead of what we saw right in front of us, instead of the experience as it presented itself.  The whole quest was not a delusion, but we have to learn to accept it as a fantasy or fiction in order to continue valuating the Self-driven experience.  We fell into the rut that the characters of Waiting for Godot were in.  We wanted the great reward . . . and there is no such thing.  It is never provided.  It never arrives.  Eventually, we must make the decision to create (as best we can) what we feel we need.  And in order to create, we must accept our own capacity to create, to become.  The heroic capacity.

The spiritual never becomes material, never manifests and "proves" that God exists or the basic human condition can be transcended.  The conversion of spirit into matter (or the recognition that the spiritual is actually material or instinctual) requires an act of fictioning . . . not an act of divine providence or manna from heaven.  This is precisely what the alchemical opus was directed at.  And the understanding of the opus that the alchemists had was achieved only by surpassing the same obstacles that Jungians have been thwarted by.  Jung's and our failure to understand the Coniunctio initiation of the individuation process and the Jungian failure to adequately understand the alchemical opus are two aspects of the same failing.  They demonstrate stumblings at precisely the same stage, the threshold of initiation.  I stand opposed to the continued hope for spiritualization that the classical school of Jungianism upholds as well as the embittered defensiveness against the heroic process that the developmental school suffers from.  There is another way in between these two ways that is still fertile.  The path is merely much more subtle, lacking the grand gates and loud hawkers luring us to it.  We could even say that it is a failure to find a way to simultaneously valuate the transference enough and non-literalize it that has been the source of our consternation and confusion.

You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]


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Re: Transference in Analysis
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 01:23:07 AM »
Wow! What else can one say about a couple of posts like that?

I married my Jungian Analyst. That pretty succintly sums up what I think about transference in analysis.