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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

May 22, 2022

"The role that an analyst plays is so important in terms of how people can be wounded, shamed and hurt in a variety of different ways. We need to be very thoughtful about our own residual psychopathology because no analyst is perfectly analyzed. It’s a lifelong stretch that we are going through to try to figure out what is bothering us with a particular patient." 


Episode Description: We begin by describing the nature of feeling 'stuck' in a clinical situation. We consider the contributions from both sides of the couch and the role that internal and actual consultants can play in reintroducing an analyzing perspective on an encounter. Glen presents composite examples of colleagues who came to him for consultation especially around difficulties with sexual boundaries with patients. He has noted the hunger for love and loneliness as common themes in these analysts' lives. We discuss changes in our field regarding the focus on symptoms and the use of Zoom and we conclude with a discussion of what he feels is a more nuanced understanding of the termination process. 


Our Guest: Glen Gabbard, MD is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a training and supervising analyst at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston. He is the author or editor of 29 books, including Love and Hate in the Analytic Setting, Textbook of Psychoanalysis, Boundaries and Boundary Violations, and The Psychology of the Sopranos. He is also the author of 365 scientific papers. He was awarded the Sigourney Award in 2000 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Sapienza University in Rome in 2021. From 2001-to 2007 he was Joint Editor-Chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 


Recommended Readings: 

Gabbard GO: The “dragons of primeval days”: Termination and the persistence of the infantile. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 2021 


Gabbard GO: The analyst and the virus. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 68, 1089-1099, 2021 


2017—Sexual boundary violations in psychoanalysis: a 30-year retrospective. Psychoanalytic Psychology 34: 151-156. (Gabbard GO) 


2010—The lure of the symptom in psychoanalytic treatment. JAPA 58:533-544 (Ogden TH & Gabbard GO) 


2009—On Becoming a Psychoanalyst. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 90:311-327 (Gabbard GO, Ogden TH) 


2003- Gabbard GO: Miscarriages of psychoanalytic treatment with suicidal patients. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 84:249-261