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Bromberg, P.M. (2004). More Than Meets the Eye: A Professional Autobiography. Psychoanal. Inq., 24(4):558-575.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 24(4):558-575

More Than Meets the Eye: A Professional Autobiography

Philip M. Bromberg, Ph.D.

Most people who come to our offices can handle the paradox that there's more inside of them than they can put into words—“more than meets the eye”—without intrinsic emotional isolation. They can be both in the world and separate from it as a unitary self-experience. Some, however, experience their private inner world and their engagement with day-to-day life as separate and totally unrelated events, each in its own way an exhausting labor of emotional survival. Much of the therapy involves the creation of transitional space that can embrace both otherness and selfhood, and for such patients the analytic process triggers an internal war between inharmonious aspects of self into which the analyst is inevitably drawn. Regardless of diagnosis, patients in this group are most often the ones we experience as “difficult,” and pretty much from the beginning of my career I was drawn toward working with so-called difficult patients. My appetite for it doesn't seem to have abated. I continue to learn the most from individuals whose declaration that “there's more to them than meets the eye” is for one part of the self a battle cry and for another a plaintive cry to be known.

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