Login
Whyte, N. (2004). The Analyst's Pregnancy: A Non-Negotiable Fact: The Challenge to Existing Object Relations. Psychoanal. Psychother., 18:27-43.

Welcome to PEP Web!

Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.

If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.

If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.

Username:
Password:

Can't remember your username and/or password? If you have forgotten your username and/or password please click here and log in to the PaDS database. Once there you need to fill in your email address (this must be the email address that PEP has on record for you) and click "Send." Your username and password will be sent to this email address within a few minutes. If this does not work for you please contact your group organizer.

Athens or federation user? Login here.

Not already a subscriber? Order a subscription today.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 18:27-43

The Analyst's Pregnancy: A Non-Negotiable Fact: The Challenge to Existing Object Relations

Nollaig Whyte Author Information

In this paper it is argued that when a patient is confronted with his analyst's pregnancy, this fact intrudes itself forcibly and painfully on his consciousness and on his treatment. He is thus confronted unequivocally with some of the most important facts of life, with an immediacy and intensity that is difficult to escape and to negotiate. There is considerable disruption in the established equilibrium and the pregnancy may constitute a psychic crisis for the patient. At the same time, the pre-existing object relationships come into focus more clearly as do the predominant dynamics surrounding the patient's apprehension of some of the most fundamental facts of life.

The author describes the analytic process as it unfolds with a male patient, throughout the period of her pregnancy and after her return from a 5-month break. For him, the discovery of the pregnancy constituted a crisis, and he responded with vigorous attempts to re-establish the status quo. A chronic impasse developed where the predominant object relations seen prior to the pregnancy became intensified and fixed. Potentially lively feelings and fantasies were held in a frozen state. The patient apparently had to remove himself to an even greater distance than previously, in order to protect himself from the actual disruption in the setting and from an awareness of its meaning to him.

Before 1966, the topic of the analyst's pregnancy and its effect on treatment had not been addressed specifically in the literature. Only a single paper by Hannet in 1949 had discussed some of the issues related to an analyst's

- 27 -

miscarriage. Subsequent authors have speculated on possible reasons for this unusual silence. One suggestion is that deep-seated taboos about mentioning it may be related to a fear of the evil eye. In other words, there may be a shared fantasy that if the pregnancy can go relatively unnoticed or uncommented upon, it may be protected from the destructive effects of envy. Moreover, the conscious and unconscious links between birth and death may also need to be avoided.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2014, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing. Help | About | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Problem

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.