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Schmukler, A.G. (1992). American Imago. XLVI, 1989: Psychotherapy and the Pursuit of Happiness (1941). Hanns Sachs. Pp. 143-152.. Psychoanal Q., 61:322-323.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLVI, 1989: Psychotherapy and the Pursuit of Happiness (1941). Hanns Sachs. Pp. 143-152.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:322-323

American Imago. XLVI, 1989: Psychotherapy and the Pursuit of Happiness (1941). Hanns Sachs. Pp. 143-152.

Anita G. Schmukler

Early views of the origins of illness specified external supernatural evil forces, and treatment was typically a primitive form of psychotherapy, in which opposing spiritual


WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the PEPWeb subscriber and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form.
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forces grappled for dominance. Belief in magic was more palatable than the notions that we are invaded by invisible organisms against which there is no effective remedy, or that we are in some way responsible for our own maladies. Relinquishment of magical thinking is accompanied by the acknowledgment of our own mortality. Two aims, the avoidance of death and the pursuit of happiness, are examined from the perspective of psychotherapeutic intervention. The idealization of the therapist leads to the patient's notion that the therapist is either omnipotent or not at all helpful. Neurotic individuals seek not simply fuller use of their talents but recompense for what they have been denied. The wishes of the patient for the therapist to be an omnipotent, all-loving, ideal parent prompt a variety of responses. The therapist may respond to the idealization by a variety of methods of pseudo-treatment, bypassing science to embrace magical omnipotence. The most helpful response is that in which the therapist acknowledges his or her limitations. We are fellow-explorers, but not guides.


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

Schmukler, A.G. (1992). American Imago. XLVI, 1989. Psychoanal. Q., 61:322-323

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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.