Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To open articles without exiting the current webpage…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To open articles without exiting your current search or webpage, press Ctrl + Left Mouse Button while hovering over the desired link. It will open in a new Tab in your internet browser.

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

Epstein, L. (1999). The Analyst's “Bad-Analyst Feelings” A Counterpart to the Process of Resolving Implosive Defenses. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(2):311-325.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(2):311-325

The Analyst's “Bad-Analyst Feelings” A Counterpart to the Process of Resolving Implosive Defenses

Lawrence Epstein, Ph.D.

Among Patients In Analysis Who have reached the level of emotional development that Melanie Klein called the “depressive position,” and Winnicott more aptly termed the “capacity for concern,” are those who are likely to negate, dissociate, or become selectively inattentive to experiences of the analyst's negative impact. To the extent that they become aware of negative thoughts and feelings, they are likely to withhold them in order to protect the analyst's self-esteem, and to protect themselves, as well, from possible retaliation. The sensitivity of these patients to the needs, feelings, desires, and vulnerabilities of others is such that it eclipses their awareness of their own needs, feelings, and desires. I think of them as being imprisoned in their empathy for others. They are given to automatic and unwitting self-abandonment. They tend to be hypercritical of themselves, self-hateful, and may be given to depressive mood swings and to suicidal thoughts and urges. The implosion of aggression may alternatively take the path of attacking the body or the immune system, increasing susceptibility to somatic disorders, illness, and disease.

The precursors to this complex of implosive defenses usually become clear in analysis. In most cases, the patient was very early recruited by one or both parents to serve as a selfobject and to meet the parent's need for tension-regulation and need-satisfaction. Sometimes the patient served as the target of projections, bad feelings, or feelings of badness, and at other times served to support the parent's need for feelings of goodness by never addressing the parent as the object of fault.

[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 © 2021, 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.