A Last-Minute Breakthrough

A thoughtful and insightful piece in the NYT’s Couch series from the recently deceased psychoanalyst Muriel Dimen. In this short piece, Dr. Dimen captures an experience most every therapist has encountered, and beautifully illustrates an analytic way of thinking about and responding to such a situation.

“Would Julia come back? I very much hoped so. For we had just done precisely what psychoanalysis is designed to do. She had transferred to me the image of her loved but neglectful parents. And I had become those parents, not noticing that there was an urgent need that I was not noticing. As in a drama (or a charade), we enacted the problem together, and finally were able to translate into speech what had been shown to us in our “performance.” We had become conscious of what had been unconscious.”

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