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Miller, J. (1990). Commentary by a Jungian Annalyst. Brit. J. Psychother., 6(4):477-480.

(1990). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 6(4):477-480

Commentary by a Jungian Annalyst Related Papers

John Miller

A major problem I encounter at the outset of writing a commentary on these two sessions is trying to decide at what level the therapist is working.

If what is being attempted is what might loosely be called supportive therapy - trying to enable the patient to feel better about herself without trying to dig too deep, then I have a picture of a sensitive therapist doing a good job. If, on the other hand, what is being attempted is work of analytical depth, I confess I feel less sure of what is being achieved in the two sessions presented.

It looks as if the patient may be someone with quite deep-rooted problems of dependency which are probably related to a severe identity problem. The presenting problem of the dependent relationship with the boyfriend sounds like the symbiotic merging so commonly found where the early bond with the mother was not properly established. Possibly, as an effect of the two miscarriages, the mother was depressed and saw the patient as if she were dead or, in some other way, could not see her as a person in her own right.

To add insult to injury, the poor girl had to suffer early hospitalisations and surgery with further interference of the mother-infant relationship.

A very tough start to life and one which has clearly left its scars. However, this is only one side of things - the external side or what is somewhat misleadingly referred to as the historical background.

But the central issue of analytical work is how the patient has responded to these experiences.

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