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Escosteguy Carneiro, M.I. Escosteguy Carneiro, J.A. (2006). Resistance as a Response to Trauma in the Clinical Moment: The Approaches of a London Kleinian and American Ego-Psychologist. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(6):1713-1716.

(2006). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(6):1713-1716

Resistance as a Response to Trauma in the Clinical Moment: The Approaches of a London Kleinian and American Ego-Psychologist

Reported by:
Maria Inês Neuenschwander Escosteguy Carneiro and João Alberto Escosteguy Carneiro

Moderated by:
Felisa Waksman De Fisch

Before presenting a Thursday session with Mrs B, her five times weekly patient of six years, Dr Sally Weintrobe related her feelings and thoughts regarding Mrs B and briefly reported what happened on the Wednesday session before the one she was about to report.

Mrs B is a bright woman in her early thirties. She can be very controlling and there is a tricky quality in her clinical material, as if she were a stage manager ready to tell the analyst what she wants her to do. There is also a remote, cold quality in her, resulting in a lack of contact with others. She can have clever insights, but doesn't elaborate them. She also has an implacable hatred of any form of authority. When interpretations are in any way painful, she feels ‘misunderstood’ and these sorts of feelings generally bring crisis into the analysis.

Recently, though, the analyst acknowledged that there may have been a shift: there is, according to the analyst, a sense that someone in her is trying to find a voice. The analyst feels that her patient is actually thinking more about herself. In her material, there are communications about how confused she is feeling. She seems like someone who has actual difficulties; this is a new aspect in the patient's mental functioning. Mrs B suffered early separations in childhood, and has a brother five years her senior. The analyst has the impression of Mrs B's mother as being rather anxious and narcissistic. She would leave Mrs B twice a year for six to eight weeks and, on one occasion, when Mrs B was 4, her mother went abroad with her husband for several months. Mrs B and her brother would then stay with the maternal grandparents.

Before the Wednesday session, Mrs B talked about her husband being fed up with her: ‘He said I think the world revolves around me—but there are others with feelings, too’.

On Wednesday, material came up about her going to the dentist after the analytical hour, and she spoke of being annoyed with a friend, Larry, who was coming to stay with Marie (his French wife) and their toddler, Henri, a 22 month-old boy.

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