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Hoffer, A. (1999). Chapter 3: Neutrality and the Therapeutic Alliance: What Does the Analyst Want?. The Therapeutic Alliance, 35-53.

Hoffer, A. (1999). Chapter 3: Neutrality and the Therapeutic Alliance: What Does the Analyst Want?. The Therapeutic Alliance , 35-53

Chapter 3: Neutrality and the Therapeutic Alliance: What Does the Analyst Want? Book Information Previous Up Next

Axel Hoffer, M.D.

Prologue

I would like to begin by presenting a poem anonymously provided by a patient because it contains the essence of my paper. The poem is called “Silences.”

I wish I could

tell you

just how it is with me.

Would I dare quote poems of

love?

Would I dare be honest and

tell you?

I did that once.

It got me a summer of raindrops

and teardrops for my honesty.

So perhaps I will never be able

to tell you how I feel.

Perhaps all you will hear

from me is silence.

Yet, I suppose that if you

cannot understand my silence,

then you will never

understand my words.

[Anon.]

Some of my questions about the alliance concept are contained in the titles I first considered for this presentation. Is the analyst an advocate or a mediator? How and why is the analytic relationship different from other relationships? For what and against whom is the analyst allied? Does the analyst need an ally? To pursue all of those questions, I'd like to invite the reader to join me in sailing some, for me, uncharted waters by asking another question from the other side of the couch: “What does the analyst want?”

For ease of presentation, I will refer to the treating person as the analyst but what I have to say applies also to an analytically oriented therapist. Let us begin with a question inherent in the conceptualization of both neutrality and the therapeutic alliance: Is the analyst's or therapist's fundamental goal different from the patient's? I believe, yes, it is.

[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.]

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