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Freedman, E.W. (1993). The John W. Mudd M.D. Memorial Western Clinical Psychoanalytic Meeting. San Diego, California. October 11-13, 1991. Psychoanal Q., 62:183.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 62:183

The John W. Mudd M.D. Memorial Western Clinical Psychoanalytic Meeting. San Diego, California. October 11-13, 1991

Edward W. Freedman

DISCUSSION: Dr. Leonard Shengold said that the presentation had given the audience a penetrating view of how Dr. Weinshel works and thinks. The case was not spectacular, as it included flaws and limitations of the analyst. It represented the best in the self-observation of an analyst, permitting him to function as "the conscience of the analysis." Dr. Shengold noted that the patient had been a victim of parental "soul murder." As a child she had been "brainwashed" by both her parents: emotionally deprived and psychologically rejected by her mother, she was led to doubt her perceptions of her mother's crazy behavior by both parents. She protected herself from awareness of her rage by repression and masochistic defenses, accompanied by an idealization of her mother, her father, and her analysts. Another issue involved was Dr. Weinshel's burden in being of "good character." He wanted to do and give too much to his patient. This was his positive countertransference, and to the abused child as an adult patient, this presented a danger of traumatic repetition. It opened the patient up to the horrors of overstimulation, rejection, humiliation, and finally rage and terror. In response to his countertransference the patient defended herself with isolation and dampening of love and rage. She wished for love from the analyst, yet guarded herself against the danger inherent in it. Dr. Shengold believed that only the revival of this dangerous love and hate within the transference could lead to change. The patient had to learn to tolerate loving the analyst in order to come to terms with her rage. The analyst's interpretations had to "evoke emotions that can release the patient's ability to love." Did Dr. Weinshel's good character help or hinder this process? Dr. Shengold was not sure there is a definite answer, but he believed it helps when good character is "tempered and thereby made more acceptable by honesty, toughness, and the ability to see, and to help the patient see, how that goodness can be used in the service of transference and countertransference resistances." Dr. Weinshel's self-observation and awareness of two people in a psychoanalytic process became "an insight-provoking enablement that allowed for diminishment of the terror, rage and longing, and for reduction of the need for idealization and denial."

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