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Langs, R. (2007). One Mind or Two: Divergent Views of the Home-Office Setting Commentary on. Psychoanal. Psychol., 24(1):180-186.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24(1):180-186

One Mind or Two: Divergent Views of the Home-Office Setting Commentary on Maroda (2006) Related Papers

Robert Langs, M.D.

This article draws on the strong adaptive finding that the emotion-processing mind houses two relatively independent operating systems with very different perceptions, values, and adaptive preferences. In deciding ground rule issues, the conscious system is defensive, denial-prone, self-defeating, variable from one therapist to the next, and unreliable. In contrast, the deep unconscious system is relatively nondefensive, functions on the basis of archetypes and universals and is consistent across therapists, serves the best interests of all parties, and is trustworthy. This system universally experiences the home-office setting as a departure from the ideal, healing, archetypal frame and as harmful to all concerned.

It is little short of incredible to learn that Karen Maroda's presentation (Maroda, 2006) is one of the first classically oriented psychoanalytic articles dealing with questions pertaining to the practice of many psychoanalysts and psychotherapists (terms I shall use interchangeably) to see patients in some type of home-office setting. This is yet another aspect of the ground rules and boundaries of psychoanalysis that has been neglected by mainstream analysts. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to comment on and extend her article.

The use of a home-office setting raises framework and boundary issues that pertain to the ideal location of a therapist's office. This, in turn, is related to the ground rules pertaining to therapists' relative anonymity—the problem of the acceptable extent of their deliberate, rather than inescapable, self-revelations—and to the privacy and confidentiality of the therapy.

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