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Myers, K. (2008). Show Me the Money:(the “Problem” of) the Therapist's Desire, Subjectivity, and Relationship to the Fee. Contemp. Psychoanal., 44(1):118-140.

(2008). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 44(1):118-140

Additional Contribution

Show Me the Money:(the “Problem” of) the Therapist's Desire, Subjectivity, and Relationship to the Fee

Kachina Myers, LCSW, ACSW

The fee expresses the analyst's desire. Money struggles between patient and analyst offer an outstanding opportunity for conflicting subjectivities to be revealed and understood. Alternatively, avoiding fee conflicts can lead to treatment stagnation and analytic poverty. Nevertheless, analysts frequently fear and avoid this discussion, knowing that the fee is an intrusion of their own need. Jessica Benjamin's particular perspective on intersubjectivity suggests that this either/or dilemma of competing needs can be resolved through a both/and exploration process that establishes mutual recognition. Indeed, productive fee negotiations can expand intimacy between patient and analyst and increase the patient's capacity with money, limit setting, ambition, desire, and mutuality in his outside life. Analysts' resistances to asking for more, as well as patients' resistances to paying, are described. There are two clinical examples, one that shows the pitfalls of sidestepping this treacherous interaction, and one that illustrates the transformational power of a fee confrontation.

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