Seduction, Surrender, and Transformation: Emotional Engagement in the Analytic Process (Relational Perspectives Book Series)
Karen J. Maroda
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Seduction, Surrender, and Transformation demonstrates how interpersonal psychoanalysis obliges analysts to engage their patients with genuine emotional responsiveness, so that not only the patient but the analyst too is open to ongoing transformation through the analytic experience. In so doing, the analyst moves from the position of an "interpreting observer" to that of an "active participant and facilitator" whose affective communications enable the patient to acquire basic self-trust along with self-knowledge.
Drawing on the current literature on affect, Maroda argues that psychological change occurs through affect-laden interpersonal processes. Given that most patients in psychotherapy have problems with affect management, the completing of cycles of affective communication between therapist and patient becomes a vitally important aspect of the therapeutic enterprise. Through emotionally open responses to their patients and careful use of patient-prompted self-disclosures, analysts can facilitate affect regulation responsibly and constructively, with the emphasis always remaining on the patients' experience.
Moments of mutual surrender - the honest emotional giving over of patient to analyst and analyst to patient - epitomize the emotionally intense interpersonal experiences that lead to enduring intrapsychic change. Maroda's work is profoundly personal. She does not hesitate to share with the reader how her own personality affects her thinking and her work. Indeed, she believes her theoretical and clinical preferences are emblematic of the way in which the analyst's subjectivity necessarily shapes theory choice and practice preferences in general. Seduction, Surrender, and Transfomation is not only a powerful brief for emotional honesty in the analytic relationship but also a model of the personal openness that, according to Maroda, psychoanalysis demands of all its practitioners.
3 Show Some Emotion Completing the Cycle of Affective Communication The last chapter dealt with the issue of mutual surrender as a sine qua non for therapeutic action, that is, change. But what actually takes place in this moment of surrender that allows for change or transformation? In order to understand and facilitate a therapeutic surrender, we need to understand better the nature of affects and the role of emotion in individual growth and development, as well as in the therapeutic process.
of communicating with their therapists, essentially letting the therapist know, "This is what I am feeling." They trust their intuition and their bodies more than their feelings, which are often just a blur of "feeling upset," and often need their analysts to self-disclose or make physical contact with them as a way of facilitating both trust and emotional communication. (See the final section of this chapter for more discussion of the clinical implications.) Gender Differences Finally, how are
has been put under the analytic microscope in recent years, from the questioning of the universal nature of the oedipal conflict to possible reasons for abandoning the seduction theory (Masson, 1984), living analysts are not subjected to such scrutiny. When we do consider the personal motives for particular analytic theories or practices, this is typically done through the venue of gossip. Is it true that Freud slept with his sister-in-law? To what extent does the Oedipal theory describe Freud's
about trying to avoid enactments seems senseless to me. Rather than downplaying the importance of enactment, I prefer an emphasis on greater awareness of just how ubiquitous it is and on how equally inevitable is the evocation of the analyst's past in terms of re-creating an emotional scenario. I want to emphasize that while it necessarily involves action, enactment is essentially an affective event. The action carries the purpose of fully expressing the intense emotion at the heart of the
her view of herself was completely crazy. I told her that the person she described was really a persona she had developed over her lifetime to deal with the verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her parents, and then to deal with the corporate world that did not invite emotional responses. I basically said, "Don't you see that all of the neediness, dependency, longing, and rage that you feel with me are aspects of yourself that you buried many years ago? I realize that none of this has