Login
Billow, R.M. (1999). Power and Entitlement: Or, Mine Versus Yours. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35:473-489.

Welcome to PEP Web!

Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.

If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.

If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.

Username:
Password:

Can't remember your username and/or password? If you have forgotten your username and/or password please click here and log in to the PaDS database. Once there you need to fill in your email address (this must be the email address that PEP has on record for you) and click "Send." Your username and password will be sent to this email address within a few minutes. If this does not work for you please contact your group organizer.

Athens or federation user? Login here.

Not already a subscriber? Order a subscription today.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35:473-489

Power and Entitlement: Or, Mine Versus Yours

Richard M. Billow, Ph.D. Author Information

PATIENTS OFTEN APPEAR FOR TREATMENT when they feel powerless to resolve a life crisis, to relieve an unpleasant emotional state, to modify troublesome thoughts or feelings, to change their mate's behavior, to change their mate, or to feel good about being alive. They usually do not understand their difficulty in these terms, but most would acknowledge that, indeed, they feel powerless about something important. They come to an expert in these matters, someone, they assume, who has the power to do something about their problem.

Although individuals who come to see us may feel powerless, we know that they share power in any ongoing treatment relationship. We make rules that encourage the patient to feel and express power: to show up, talk, talk to us about us, free associate. Each session reveals power struggles within and between the participants: the patient's resistances versus the analyst's interpretations; impulses versus reality; the patient's projections versus the analyst's introjects. At times, the patient may act in a manner that the analyst experiences as “entitled,” avoiding power or asserting power quite counterproductively, producing particularly knotty resistances. Thus, paradoxically, whereas the patient may feel powerless, he or she may seem to control the flow of the session.

In this article I assume that dynamics of entitlement belong to the analyst as well as to the patient, and that they may be interactionally cocreated when the desires of the analysand and analyst conflict. As Freud (1916) candidly acknowledged, each of us harbors irrational entitlement: “We all demand reparation for early wounds to our narcissism, our self-love” (p. 315). Thus, entitlement exist in one's very character and is expressed in the countertransference, as well as in the transference. When either party feels thwarted and powerless, he or she is more

—————————————

The author thanks Drs. Joseph Newirth and Charles Raps for their stimulating ideas and editorial guidance.

- 473 -

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2014, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing. Help | About | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Problem

WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.