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Sebek, M. (2002). Rebirth fantasy and the psychoanalytic process. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(2):225-234.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(2):225-234

Rebirth fantasy and the psychoanalytic process

Michael Sebek, Ph.D.

In this paper, Jungian and Freudian perspectives on the fantasyof rebirth are explored and a brief review of the literature on the theme isused to show how that the rebirth fantasy seems to be a universal fantasy inthe human mind, connected with the experience of both destruction and creation. In the psychoanalytic process the rebirth fantasy is connected with initialhopes for a better life, but is also a vehicle for creating the analytic pairand for separating from the ‘totalitarian object’.

An account ofclinical work with a patient is given to illustrate the mutual and parallelprocess of rebirth in both the patient and the therapist. For the patient, thetherapy was experienced as an awakening or a birth. The therapist was initiallydoubtful about the patient's capacity to engage in the analytic processbut his involvement and interest were ‘born’ during the earlysessions, enabling the patient to rely on him to lead her out of theclaustrophobic power of the totalitarian object.

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