Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To search for text within the article you are viewing…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

You can use the search tool of your web browser to perform an additional search within the current article (the one you are viewing). Simply press Ctrl + F on a Windows computer, or Command + F if you are using an Apple computer.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Goldberg, S. Grusky, Z. (2004). The Dark Side of Analytic Conviction: Impasses of Omniscience and Complacency. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 52(4):1095-1125.

(2004). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 52(4):1095-1125

The Dark Side of Analytic Conviction: Impasses of Omniscience and Complacency

Steven Goldberg and Zenobia Grusky

It is common for analysts to struggle with substantial periods of impasse, and with the associated subjective feelings of shame and failure, while analyzing patients who rely heavily on narcissistic defenses. Facing the feelings that accompany periods of impasse, while at the same time pushing oneself to take necessary creative risks, is a huge and painful task for the analyst if it is deeply confronted. These patients engage in false uses of the analytic process in which the pursuit of understanding is systematically undermined. In response, the analyst is susceptible to being drawn in to processes of mutual seduction, false conviction, and impasse. Through the analyst's partial living out of the patient's projective identifications (and eventually observing the patient's living out of the analyst's projective identifications), the analyst is able to gain a depth of understanding of the patient, of him- or herself, and of the interaction that might not otherwise be possible. Because analysts tend to employ theory defensively, it is essential that they attend, through self-analysis and consultation, to the ways in which they use it. Two cases are presented in which prolonged impasses were eventually understood and resolved.

[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 © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.