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Hirsch, I. (2009). The Flawed Person of the Analyst: Commentary on Paper by Lauren Levine. Psychoanal. Dial., 19(4):468-473.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19(4):468-473

The Flawed Person of the Analyst: Commentary on Paper by Lauren Levine

Irwin Hirsch, Ph.D.

The way that the current conception of mutual enactment is understood, any analysis, in order to be ultimately successful must first go badly for some period of time. Any analysis that goes too smoothly is subject to the suspicion that some very difficult interactional material is being mutually unaddressed. In this context I see that Dr. Lauren Levine enacted the role of her abandoned patient (concordant countertransference) and as well, for a time, indeed, figuratively abandoned her patient (complementary countertransference). The author's central contribution in this paper is an illustration of how drawing on difficult and painful dimensions in one's own personal analysis, the analyst has the advantage of being able to withstand highly toxic material in both the transference and the countertransference. Dr. Levine is fortunate in having had a personal analysis that helped her integrate highly shameful aspects of her self, though it must be recognized that this is not always the case in all training analyses.

[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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