British Journal of Psychotherapy
The Two Analyses of Anne: The Seesaw, Disclosure, and the Third
In this paper I initially describe Benjamin’s conceptualization of the Third followed by Complementarity, within an evolving psychoanalytical context marked by a ‘relational turn’. I then briefly outline the current debate surrounding the use of therapist self-disclosure in the analytic process. With the clinical vignette, I aim to illustrate the impact of self-disclosure on relational dynamics in the room, and I do so via two self-reflective appraisals, separated in time and interpretive quality, of an affectively charged session with a client of mine I refer to as Anne. With this narrative structure I endeavour to highlight the inherent complexity in discerning the intrapsychic and the intersubjective in the therapeutic process. I also suggest a basic guideline for the verbalization of disclosures as a kind of sextant to help the analyst negotiate the affective tempests that can suffuse a therapeutic encounter. However, I emphasize it is the analyst’s capacity for embodied self-reflection, which needs to be developed via personal therapy, supervision and experiential groups, that remains the most important navigational instrument.
KEYWORDS: THIRD, COMPLEMENTARITY, ENACTMENT, IMPASSE, CO-TRANSFERENCE, INTERSUBJECTIVITY, DISCLOSURE, DOUBLE- BIND, EMBODIMENT