By Steven H. Cooper
The box, as Steven Cooper describes it, is created from the inextricably similar worlds of internalized item relatives and interpersonal interplay. additionally, the analytic dyad is neither static nor tender crusing. finally, the rigorous paintings of psychoanalysis will supply a fraught chance to paintings in the course of the most annoying parts of a patient's internal existence as expressed and skilled via the analyst - certainly, a disturbance within the box. How most sensible to continue while such difficult but altogether universal healing occasions come up, and what features of transference/countertransference could be explored within the provider of persisted, efficient analysis?
These are of the questions that Steven Cooper explores during this far-ranging number of essays on most likely thorny parts of the craft. His essays attempt to find probably the most ineffable forms of events for the analyst to absorb with sufferers, akin to the underlying grandiosity of self-criticism; the issues of an excessive amount of congruence among what sufferers fantasize approximately and analysts desire to offer; and the significance of examining adversarial and competitive features of erotic transference. He additionally attempts to show inside-out the complexity of antagonistic transference and countertransference phenomena to determine extra approximately what our sufferers are searhing for and repudiating. eventually, Cooper increases questions on a few of our traditional definitions of what constitutes the psychoanalytic procedure. Provocatively, he is taking up the analyst's countertransference to the psychoanalytic approach itself, together with his accountability and assets of gratification within the paintings. it's instantly a deeply scientific publication and person who takes a post-tribal method of psychoanalytic thought - relational, modern Kleinian, and modern Freudian analysts alike will locate a lot to consider and debate here.
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Additional resources for A Disturbance in the Field: Essays in Transference-Countertransference Engagement
Fortunately, many of our patients are also looking for a new space outside this dichotomous collapse of experiential possibility. Probably the most common experience of analyzing self-criticism is empathy or sympathy. In most instances, it is not difficult for me to understand why a particular patient has become overridingly self-critical. It is always interesting to look in a more detailed way at the varieties of sympathy or empathy that I experience in these contexts. One particularly difficult and not uncommon experience, especially in the early stages of analytic work, is the sense of my own intellectual flatness in response to the patient’s selfloathing.
I am not suggesting that changes in the countertransference automatically presage new diagnostic formulations of a patient’s psychology. I believe that our consideration of the axis related to the analyst’s countertransference and how we formulate self-reproach or any other symptom increases our responsibilities toward how we handle the powers of this countertransference. As Wolff-Bernstein (1999) pointed out, the countertransference is not a royal road toward the unconscious any more than are our other sources of information about our patients.
The joke plays on the hubris of humility and is a part of the joke that humans play on themselves and others in everyday life and in our unconscious minds. The particular problem of self-criticism when it is related to unconscious grandiosity interests me partly because it can only be deeply understood through aspects of transference-countertransference engagement. The problems posed in understanding and working through the patient’s layers * Portions of this chapter will appear in revised form in “Self-Criticism and Unconscious Grandiosity: Countertransference Dimensions,” an article scheduled in a forthcoming issue of International Journal of Psychoanalysis.
A Disturbance in the Field: Essays in Transference-Countertransference Engagement by Steven H. Cooper