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Talbot, A. (1988). Commentary by a Jungian Analyst, Member of the Society of Analytical Psychology. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(1):118-120.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(1):118-120

Commentary by a Jungian Analyst, Member of the Society of Analytical Psychology Related Papers

Alan Talbot

I feel it is always so easy from the comfortable speculative distance of the’ one off supervisor's chair to comment on work on a patient presented by a therapist so intensely involved in the analytic dialogue. I am also equally aware how dangerous it is make assumptions when one does not ‘know’ the patient in the same way that the therapist working daily or weekly with the patient does, or a supervisor might who has shared and responded to in weekly sessions, the nuances of countertransference/ transference reactions and the vicissitudes of the treatment.

Having said all that I would however like to venture the following observations. I feel that patient is a young woman whose difficulties are principally the result of complex deficits in the early relationship with her mother, despite the cosy ‘tea party’ and her mother's alleged hut, I would feel, highly ambivalent sympathy towards her.

The patient's dream of ‘being an effigy on her mother's tomb’ that precipitated her decision to enter therapy is a most evocative one. I suspect it speaks to the patient's feelings that she not only experienced her mother as a dead and truly unresponsive person towards her, the last of three children born some years after the brothers and a girl to boot; but that she the patient was perhaps also experienced by mother to be a dead frown burden on her; and probably the patient feels something of a stone-like replica of her own mother. The dream itself then seems, so pointedly, to tell of frozen deadness with so much that has as yet not been brought to life.

I feel this is further confirmed by the patient's experience that her mother found babies stifling and ‘killed off the woman's freedom and capacity for independent development.

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