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Davies, M. (2002). LANYADO, MONICA. ‘The symbolism of the story of Lot and his wife: the function of the “present relationship” and non-interpretative aspects of the therapeutic relationship in facilitating change’ Commentaries on ‘The symbolism of the story of Lot and his wife’, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 2001, 27, 1, pp. 19-46.. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(3):513-515.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(3):513-515

LANYADO, MONICA. ‘The symbolism of the story of Lot and his wife: the function of the “present relationship” and non-interpretative aspects of the therapeutic relationship in facilitating change’ Commentaries on ‘The symbolism of the story of Lot and his wife’, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 2001, 27, 1, pp. 19-46.

Review by:
Miranda Davies

Lanyado introduces the story of Lot and his family as it relates to the risks and dangers of change. When God commanded his angels to destroy the city of Sodom and of all its citizens, they judged only Lot and his family to be worthy of being saved. The angels warned them to flee the city, but Lot's sons-in-law were not prepared to uproot and risk flight, homelessness and an unknown and possibly dangerous future. Lot set off with his wife and two daughters, warned by the angels that that they must not look back at the burning city but keep on walking across the plains to the mountains. Most well known is the fate of Lot's wife, who could not resist the temptation to look back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters managed not to look back but continued their journey and survived all the hardships that followed.

Lanyado brings in the story as an allegory to underpin her understanding of the seriousness of the psychic dangers faced by the suicidal adolescent she writes about. ‘Hilary’ suffered from a deep feeling of worthlessness and ruminated continuously on how to kill herself. To relieve her suffering, she cut herself nightly. During the nine months in which Hilary was in therapy, Lanyado was acutely aware of how stuck she was, how fragile her wish to change and, once having embarked on change, the danger of Hilary's looking back.

The allegory was not used as an image in the treatment as Jungians might expect.

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