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Karen, R. (2012). Beckoning: The Analyst's Growth as a Therapeutic Agent. Contemp. Psychoanal., 48(3):301-328.

(2012). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 48(3):301-328

Beckoning: The Analyst's Growth as a Therapeutic Agent

Robert Karen, Ph.D.

The psychological and emotional growth of the analyst is easily overlooked or taken for granted, and its impact has been largely ignored theoretically. But, it is woven into the treatment in unseen and powerful ways, often emerging in the heat of the interaction, as the analyst struggles with the threats and challenges of relating to the patient. In this article, I argue that the analyst's growth pulls the patient toward a similar growth. I have called that pull “beckoning.” It is an aspect of mutual regulation and intersubjective life wherein one person brings another to a more enriched place by standing in it him- or herself. The analyst's beckoning, often unconscious and inadvertent, is an element in the unwinding of enactments, which, in turn, leads to the coconstruction of a more mature connection.

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