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Levenkron, H. (2006). Epilogue: Love (and Hate) With the Proper Stranger: Meditation on Change. Psychoanal. Inq., 26(2):279-294.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 26(2):279-294

Epilogue: Love (and Hate) With the Proper Stranger: Meditation on Change Related Papers

Holly Levenkron, L.I.C.S.W.

Ali: I am coming to you for help, but don't tell me anything I don't want to know. I don't really want to change—I just want you to make me feel better. Change is for you, Holly— leave me alone.

(Holly heard—so for now you want to be inside me, not to argue with you, to be molded by you, to be available to you, to be completely at your service.)

Holly: But you say you are in pain and you want a different life. I want you to believe you can change. But if you refuse to change, you will remind me of someone I loved who didn't want to change and it came to a sad end.

(Ali heard—so you won't give me what I want.)

These Made up Sentences Represent the Most Powerful unconscious agendas through which Ali and I organized our interactions with each other, painful agendas of hope, connection, and loss through which we related. We each wanted the other to do something. Ali wanted me to love he run conditionally and to help relieve her pain; and I wanted to be helpful to someone who was in pain. I discovered that something fundamental in me wanted her to recognize that she needed to change. Because our pain and desires were unconsciously somewhat at odds, Ali and I often entered into clashes such as those represented in my article. These, then, were the conflicts that we brought into the room with us.

One of the interesting tensions underlying several of the discussions of my article is the examination of different paradigms of relatedness and the relationship of these paradigms to “conflict”, unconscious or nonconscious.

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