The Risk of Relatedness: Intersubjectivity Theory in by Chris Jaenicke

By Chris Jaenicke

The luck of psychotherapy is dependent upon the improvement of either the sufferer and the psychotherapist. this can be the relevant thesis of Jaenicke's e-book, which addresses the scientific software of intersubjectivity concept by way of the risk―what Jaenicke phrases the 'risk of relatedness'―the thought poses to either therapist and sufferer whilst completed as perform. unlike Freudian concept, intersubjectivity thought considers remedy a strategy that's co-constructed through sufferer and therapist, the place the therapist eschews the function of impartial authority who offers sufferers with new insights and whose subjective response to the healing approach is sealed off from the therapist-patient interplay. Jaenicke 'translates' and reformulates the theory's complexities into the phrases of useful psychotherapeutic paintings. utilizing 8 primary psychoanalytic concepts―empathy, safety, splitting, the subconscious, trauma, the parable of the remoted brain, transference/countertransference, and affect―he provides a vibrant account of ways intersubjectivity concept may be placed into perform whereas describing universal problems. a variety of case experiences offer concrete examples.

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Another clinical example: An experienced colleague who had completed an analysis some time ago but felt the need for more treatment gives me a CD. I thank him without further comment. I know that the 40 Chapter 2 issue is reflected in a particular song that we had already discussed. I understand his present as a gesture of trust and affection. Silently, I make the interpretation that this is primarily a revival of an arrested idealizing selfobject transference toward the often absent father, even if on a manifest level the content of the song dealt with a mother awaiting and welcoming the return of her son.

For many patients it is a novel experience to have their viewpoints consistently and reliably understood. It introduces them to the possibility of reliability and consistency in their perceptions of Empathic-Introspective Inquiry 33 themselves and the other” (p. 258) and, in time, to a more reliable sense of selfhood and an increased ability to believe in and make use of the emotional availability of the other. “In comparison to the patient’s past experience this effect of empathy is in fact a corrective emotional experience.

The next session, the patient thanks me for not interpreting his present. As Kohut pointed out repeatedly, it is often best not to initially interpret these transferences but rather to let them unfold. In this case, I was led by my understanding of the patient’s need to express strong emotions in a moderate form, as it allowed him to express affection without a loss of his sense of integrity. To interpret at this point would have been counterproductive. It would have accentuated the asymmetry that the patient was able to silently allow and use as a source of strength without experiencing a loss of self-worth.

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