I had a session with my therapist yesterday, August 28, 2017. She said, “I talked to my colleagues about your letter writing. They all told me I shouldn’t even accept your letters: that the latters place too much of a burden on my time.” I said, “Did you allow them to read the letters?” She said, “no, I just told them about your letter writing activity. I have decided to continue to accept your letters despite their advice.” Both the therapist and the persons she consulted emphasized the therapist’s burden without any consideration of my needs or best interests.
What was the therapist’s motive in telling me about this communication with third parties? Why didn’t she simply act or choose not to act without mentioning the outside communications?
A–relation to job termination (employer consulting two experts, sham behavior)
B–relation to mother (mother consulting sister on how to deal with me) (issues of family enmeshment, mother’s lack of independence)
C–issue scapegoating: I am the active party placing a burden on the therapist. My act of writing letters is not a legitimate need. (bad object). I, the therapist, am being burdened and my legitimate time needs are being spent (good object). But what about the value I am giving the therapist — experience and training in treating introjective pathology? (see “I” below)
D–law enforcement concerns
E–relation to anorexia nervosa article. Depletion guilt: parents conveying to child the love is in limited supply, and that for a child to be loved it depletes the supply of love in the family. Association: therapist has limited time (I deplete her time by writing letters).
F–notion that mother’s care for child damages mother — child’s fear of harming mother. Schizoid fear of harming object. Klein and depressive guilt.
G–transforming content into a quantity (anal defensiveness). Therapist not concerned with content of letters, simply concerned with amount of time needed to read letter. Letter about Dr. Brown: Grunberger points out that the act of denuding an individual of personal characteristics, or personal identity, and substituting for that specific identity a numerical or quantitative designation, is an anally-determined procedure. See Grunberger at 381: “The anti-Semite’s specific [anal] regression is most clearly seen in his representation of the Jew [broadly speaking, a metaphor for the “bad child” imago]. This follows the line of destroying his individuality. The Jew is denuded of all personal characteristics[:] . . . in the concentration camps they were designated by numbers.”
Cf. Shengold, L. Soul Murder at 152-153 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989): “‘Anal defensiveness’ involves a panoply of defenses evolved during the anal phase of psychic development that culminates with the individual’s power to reduce anything meaningful to ‘shit’–to the nominal, the degraded, the undifferentiated.”
Here, the therapist denudes the letters of content and associated affect and reduces the letters to numbers — the amount of time it takes to read the letters. Like taking away Jews’ names (and identity) and giving them numbers.
There is an interesting parallel between the therapist’s defensiveness seen in her act of reducing my letters to the nominal — and her use of cliches as pseudo-interventions. It relates to the issue of dehumanization and objectification (the letters are only pieces of paper that take up temporal space). The therapist’s use of cliches is a strong indication that her concerns about the letters taking up her time are purely rationalization for sadistic maneuvers. Wumser, L. Torment Me, But Don’t Abandon Me: Psychoanalysis of the Severe Neuroses in a New Key.
H–What about writing as a recognized part of therapy? As in homework assignments in cognitive therapy, see, Using Patient Writings in Psychotherapy: Review of Evidence for Expressive Writing and Cognitive-Behavioral Writing Therapy by Phaedra Elizabeth Pascoe, M.D.
I–therapist’s failure to apply a learning model. In general medicine a doctor relishes the opportunity to treat a rare disease. He learns from treating a disorder he rarely sees. Dr. Palombo recognized this when he said, “You can teach Dr. Pitts a lot about treating paranoia.” The therapist, oddly, is not interested in using me as a learning tool. She obviously has little experience treating severe introjective pathology. Notice she doesn’t say to herself, “This is a terrific opportunity for me to learn about introjective pathology.” NO! She views treating me as a narcissistic injury and a burden. What does that say about her as a professional? Compare: The therapist said, “A therapist’s expertise is not what’s important in therapy. It’s the relationship between client and therapist that is important.” She has no interest in knowledge.
notes: You want to be an unforgettable patient; you have a need for attunement; lecture on mother-child–if the child imagines that his mother is not attending to his needs whether she is or not, this will be distressing for the child. repeated use of cliches in response to narrative. No meaningful interventions in response to Thoreau Unabomber material — dissociation/abuse(trauma?) (cabin).
idee fixe: you want things, you don’t get what you want, you are unhappy or you act out. (sees patient only as bad mouth: child only bites and sucks)
(patient’s letters take up my time: bad mouth–sucking)
mature clinician: patient is good mouth that provides clinician opportunity to showcase his abilities. Dr. Palombo sees patient as good mouth–doctor can learn from a patient.
I see therapist as grain of sand causing a pearl — irritant gives rise to something good. Full bladder (irritant) causes an erection (something good). Letters are a phallic display. “Look at me!! Isn’t this awesome?!??!)
therapist’s view of letters as attacks — projection of her oral sadism?
my view of letters as projection of phallic libido?