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Richard, A. (2013). Journeying Back Home Together. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 8(4):452-464.

(2013). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 8(4):452-464

Journeying Back Home Together

Annette Richard, M.Ps.

In this clinical presentation, I narrate three moments, occurring at 3 months, 3 years, and 5 years, in my work with Beatrice, a woman my age, who shared many aspects of my history. Our strong emotional connection was the theater of many rupture and repair processes. I follow one thread around what I experienced as her pressuring demands on me that I tell her she was right and my insistence on giving her back what she called an “ambiguous gift,” her subjectivity. My recognition of some aspects of my misattuned responses in the first two narratives helped Beatrice recover her remarkable reflexive abilities and led to a gradual deepening of the work. In the last narrative, 5 years into the therapy, I recount how I suddenly became aware of my own parallel struggles with pain of invalidation from my own history, and told her that I could see now how I was not available to her. This intense moment of meeting had deep reverberations in the following sessions and in our relationship. We were both journeying “back home”—that is, confronting together the so often “intolerable embeddedness of our being.”

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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