Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see definitions for highlighted words…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Some important words in PEP Web articles are highlighted when you place your mouse pointer over them. Clicking on the words will display a definition from a psychoanalytic dictionary in a small window.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Zimmer, R.B. (2013). Arrogance and Surprise in Psychoanalytic Process. Psychoanal Q., 82(2):393-412.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 82(2):393-412

Arrogance and Surprise in Psychoanalytic Process

Richard B. Zimmer

When something new, not yet understood by either patient or analyst, begins to emerge in the course of psychoanalytic treatment, a particular set of tensions arises in the analytic couple. At times, this may manifest in a growing, subtle—or not so subtle—mutual contempt between patient and analyst. Moments of surprise may be the point of entry to the newly emerging material. I will illustrate this observation with detailed clinical material, place it in relation to Bion's paper “On Arrogance(1958), and discuss some of its technical implications.

In the situation I am describing, each member of the analytic pair retreats into a state of arrogant self-satisfaction, ensconcing him- or herself in an internal relation with what is known, excluding and condescending to the other member of the pair, as a way of retreating from the anxiety and frustration of being in contact with the other, and from the unknown contents that threaten to erupt within that contact; and the familiar Bionian triad of arrogance, stupidity, and curiosity (Bion 1958) comes to the fore. Each element is embodied in, projected onto, and provoked in each member of the psychoanalytic couple in a fluid, rapidly shifting way, as both members simultaneously try to come to understand the newly emerging contents and to evade their manifestations in the transference-countertransference matrix.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.