An Enactment: Guilt and Narcissism
作者: Donnel Stern / 5292次阅读 时间: 2014年9月02日
来源: 《partners in thought》 标签: enactment

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5op|#p.m0In deceptively smooth treatments, we find in retrospect that, all along,each participant was influencing the other to maintain the status quo. Inone case of mine, the patient, a talented but immature man in his 30s whohad managed to deep-six virtually everyone of the many academic andprofessional opportunities he had had, worked very hard in treatment andexpressed deep appreciation to me, though he also expressed his fear thatI would somehow indoctrinate him and make it impossible for him tocontinue the somewhat self-destructive "fringe" life he had been leading.心理学空间(T"s0X:Q:GD9Z

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During onc of his high school years, he have been in a once-per-week psychotherapy for his academic problems, but that treatment had seemedto him to be nothing more than tutoring, and useless tutoring at that.According to him, his therapist, like his teachers (and himself, for thatmatter) had been completely baffled about why this very bright and apparently well-meaning young man, who seemed quite sincere about wantingto do well, Just could not seem to get his work done.心理学空间?5Q qEm r~

8L G4?0aj8c'^J0After a year and a half or so, during which lime the treatment seemedimmensely productive to both of us, I began to feel a vague sense of unease.Something bothered me. Over a period of a couple of weeks. I began toformulate what was the matter. The treatment had begun to feel to mevery subtly less alive, less continuously intriguing and animated. Certainmoments that I knew would have been interesting in the recent past werenow perhaps a little flat or stale, maybe just a bit forced. Simultaneously,the analysand, while insisting he was trying as hard as he could, was failingquite spectacularly in certain academic activities that he had felt, withmy tacit agreement, would represent progress for him.

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We found out somewhat later that the analysand was doing With meprecisely what he had done with his parents, though as is so often the case,he was doing it with such utter naturalness that it shaped our Interactionunobtrusively. On the face of it, he was the dutiful, cheerful, and lovingson; but he was simultaneously failing in an unconsciously purposeful waythat he was able to believe consciously had nothing at all to do with hisown intentions. We eventually learned that he had always been angry anddepressed at the expectations he faced from his parents, which had neverseemed to him to have much to do with what he wanted from life or howhe felt; but because of his parents' narcissistic vulnerability and his lovingfeelings toward them, he had felt too guilty to protest directly. Instead, heacted out in a way that was invisible to him but that hit them where it hurt:He failed dramatically to accomplish anything that would have pleasedthem, a mission that had ruined everyone of the opportunities they hadfound a way to offer him. With me, the patient had begun the relationshipin a genuinely collaborative mode in which we had accomplished a greatdeal. I have not felt the need to revise that initial impression. But we alsodiscovered that, as I had begun to enjoy his collaboration, he had begunto resent my pleasure, and had revised Our history together, beginning tosuspect (without quite realizing that he felt that way) that we had institutedour collaboration more for my reasons than for his own. He then began totreat me as if I needed this narcissistic pleasure, as he had felt (again, in anunformulated kind of way) his parents had. For a while, I had not noticedthis change. or had registered it only as a subtle affective shift. most of thetime continuing to enjoy what was fast becoming a pseudo-alliance andingratiation. just as his parents. by what I could gather from his reports.had always taken pleasure in what seemed to be his adoration and goodcheer. It came to my attention in these weeks that I had also been enjoyinghis appreciative responses to my interpretations. and I now realized that Ihad been making more of them recently than I usually do. The other words. was playing to what he unconsciously fell into assumingwas my narcissism. and I was enjoying it enough that he had reason tobelieve that he needed to keep me well supplied if we were to continue toget along together.

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/tyUThvl-L&K"o0For my present purpose. the point of the illustration is that I respondedto the analysand's way of relating to me by developing a countertransferencethat. in turn. reinforced his transference; and as a result. as is usuallythe case. he and I locked each other so securely into an unconscious set ofinterpersonal patterns that it soon became irrelevant. actually. which of uswas responsible for having provoked the interaction in the first place. Thevery idea of determining such a thing. as a matter of fact. would have been(and often or even usually is) nothing more than a blaming operation.心理学空间 N\u ]qEhbET

U\t'd a:i3v0Once the nature of our relatedness came to light. there was the possibilityfor change; and so my example illustrates not only the interlocking oftransference and countertransference. but also the breaking of this mutualgrip. How and why that happens is my primary question. Why did I not simplycontinue to play out this scenario of narcissism? Where did the vaguediscomfort that helped me to see things differently come from? Eventually.once I had made some sense of my feelings. I drew the patient's attentionto what I had noticed about the change in the atmosphere between us andinvited him to investigate it with me. The results I have already described.I turn now to what made this turn of events possible .

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