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Wilson, M. (2003). The Analyst's Desire and the Problem of Narcissistic Resistances. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 51(1):71-99.

(2003). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(1):71-99

The Analyst's Desire and the Problem of Narcissistic Resistances

Mitchell Wilson

The ways in which the analyst's desire for particular experiences with patients is inevitable and often leads to narcissistically based resistances are considered. Five propositions are examined: (1) that the analyst cannot help but have desires and want them recognized by the analysand; (2) that these desires frequently underwrite the analyst's theoretical beliefs and technical interventions; (3) that narcissistic desires and their influence are ubiquitous among practicing analysts; (4) that the patient is often on the lookout for the analyst's various agendas; and (5) that the patient often hopes the analyst will put his or her desire aside and listen so the patient can further his or her own interests. Lacan's concept of the “dual relation” is central to this discussion. The neo-Kleinian position on narcissistic resistances is explored, as is the idea of the “analytic third” as a potential solution to the problem they pose. An extended case description illustrates the main points.

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