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Knight, Z.G. (2007). The Analyst's Emotional Surrender. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(2):277-289.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Review, 94(2):277-289

The Analyst's Emotional Surrender

Zelda G. Knight, Ph.D.

With the development of new perspectives on old concepts such as transference, countertransference, interpretation, projective identification, and self-disclosure, together with the notion of mutuality in psychoanalysis, there has emerged a particularly interesting practical challenge for analysts—their emotional surrender. This paper explores the analyst's emotional surrender and the concomitant fear that may be encountered. In order to provide a context, a brief overview of mutuality and the unit of analysis is presented, as well as the suggestion that the rise of postmodernism permitted the concurrent development of the idea of the analyst who could show some emotion and be less perfect, less all-knowing, and less detached.

Context: Mutuality, the unit of Analysis and Postmodernism

The recent literature on the concepts of mutuality, transference, countertransference, interpretation, projective identification, and self-disclosure in the analytic relationship have contributed to the re-vision of the traditional assumption of the primacy, authority, and validity of the neutral, detached, and abstinent analyst. The so-called “two-person approach” is reflective of these new perspectives (Aron, 1996; Mitchell, 1988).

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