The Analytic and the Relational: Inquiring into Psychotherapy Practice. Farhad Dalal

so this this word relationship I mean today all kinds of disciplines are suddenly renaming themselves as relational there’s relational sociology there’s relational psychotherapy and so on well in psychoanalysis the relational term was marked in 1983 with the work of publication of Mitchell and Greenberg’s epic work object relations in psychoanalytic theory so despite me having studied this work over 25 years ago and studied it quite deeply and been heavily influenced by it it was only relatively recently that I began to think of myself as belonging to this grouping so in what follows I’ll not be giving you a survey of the relational field rather I’ll be telling you about my personal journey in how I came to be here so it was just a few years ago that I slowly started to become aware that my practice as a therapist had changed quite a lot I started to become conscious of the sort of the growing differences with the web with some of the conventions that some of my colleagues Tooker’s unquestioned Givens now these conventions and the worldview from which they emerge for the purposes of this talk are characterized as the analytic I was a bit embarrassed by my diverging and divergent form of practice and I kept it to myself for some time I was pretty sure I’d be judged as having become casual and careless of having become slack and lazy of having lost my Hannah lytic way and indeed to some degree I thought this to that I was getting away with something shameful under the cover of darkness but to say my way of working makes it sound like I made a conscious decision about changing my ways of working this was not the case I had slowly with without realizing it drifted off piste and because the shift was born of unconscious drift there are grounds for the view that I’d not found a way rather I had lost my way anyhow found or lost despite all this I began to have some conviction in what I was doing and a bit braver in about speaking out my differences with some of these taken for granted Givens I then rediscovered as it were for yet another first time hiding in plain sight a whole other world outside the sort of analytic regime that prevailed and I would argue still prevails in the UK context the name of this alternative view was relational psychoanalysis and this were being positioned itself explicitly against the classical analytic paradigm the one I was finding myself at odds with now my my rendition of the prevailing norms in our community has caused some affront in some quarters for example when I put in a paper last year into group analysis which was about a view on our trainings two of the referees took umbrage with this one saying it certainly needs to be proven that many group analysts work nowadays like the so-called classical analysts and the another said the critique of the so-called classical analysts might still be appropriate for some Orthodox clients but does not fit with the present practice of many psychoanalysts who adopted the intersubjective turn with his emphasis on mutuality exchange and co-construction especially American relations psycho analyst very well taken to account context factors however once the paper was actually published an email sent to me from a person currently in trainings struck a different note this and says I’ve just started the qualifying course and many of the issues you bring up resonate with me as I journey through the course but but in making the opposition relational and analytic I have to some degree produced a false dichotomy false because of the implication that those who are relational are not analytic and those who are analytic are not relational the fact that the term relational psychoanalysis includes both invites the following refinement that the

distinction ought to be between that of classical psychoanalysis and relational psychoanalysis however for reasons that will become apparent I intend to stick with a relational analytic dichotomy the other problem with the dichotomy dichotomy is that it obscures the differences that that exist within each category there are varieties of the relational and varieties of the analytic for example in different ways and to different degrees the object relationships of Klein Winnicott and Fairburn would all perhaps consider themselves as relational because they all concur with the view that individuals are necessarily related to other individuals from the first moments of existence however the form of practical practice that they engage in to my mind is singularly non-relational the relation is Irving Hoffman thinks similarly when he says ego psychology object relations theory self psychology and interpersonal theory despite their varied and rich contributions have perpetuated the positivist aspects of Freudian theory even while in many instances disclaiming it so this is why I retain the distinction between the analytic and the relational and my thesis my argument today is this that even though many colleagues might subscribe to a relational view of life their form of clinical practice is ethical to it so that’s where I’m going on you now what I’m calling the classical analytic attitude is one in which the analyst takes themselves to be a detached objective observer of clinical phenomena the primary purpose of the analysis is the DIF interested scientific pursuit of truth in this way the classical psychoanalyst subscribes to the values and methods of positivist science which construes of scientific practice and the knowledge it generates an objective and value free this is not my construe of the classical analyst rather this is what is advocated and put forward by the classical analysts themselves it is a deliberate intention of the classical analysts to be non relation to their way of thinking to get caught up and relating would be to compromise the scientific integrity of the treatment this scientific stance emanated in the first place as you will know from Freud himself he thought of himself as a scientist and the project of psychoanalysis as a scientific inquiry the resolute focus of this inquiry is the internal world of the patient but it was not always so again others would be familiar I’m sure to all of you in his earlier theorization x’ freud gave actual experiences say abusive parents a significant role in the creation of neuroses but then he came to think that the sources of neuroses were not in fact but in fantasy and this fantasy was thought to be generated by the psychological correlate of the conflict between the endogenous instincts henceforth it was psychoanalytic blasphemy to give any credence to the idea of act that actual external events played a role in the creation of neurosis and psychological distress when analysts found themselves to by this error it was regarded by the profession as an acting hound the profession as a whole followed him into this turn where many remain Maroons leading to this day so if you think about psychoanalysis as a science what does the science look like and I’m putting it specifically in that language so matically one can describe psychoanalytic technique as follows the psychoanalyst observes the patient’s characteristic forms of distortion of external reality and uses this to construct interpretations and hypotheses about the structure of the patient’s internal world yeah you could say the analyst measures the patient’s distortion of the external world say the patient says the room is stuffy by contrasting the patient’s version with the analyst version this is not the case so the analyst uses this distortion to make interpretations which are not only descriptions of reality but also

crucially included in the interpretation is the reason that explains how and why the distortion has come about now the first problem is evident the patient is narrative mostly refers to events that are beyond the direct experience of the analyst and so the analyst cannot know the patient’s experience in any objective sense so this is why then the frame of the experiment is moved firmly from there and then into the here and now and specifically the patient’s distortion of the analyst this kind of distortion we know as the transference the analyst now uses his or her experience and self-knowledge they have to know themselves to gauge the extent of the patient’s distortion of the analyst the analyst treats his or her subjective experiences as data and uses them to make inferences about the patient’s psyche this data we know as transference now integral and essential to this scientific method is the assumption that the patient that the analysts presence is a constant which is another way of saying that it need not be included in the analysis now this assumption is exactly where the relational ethos parts ways with the classical psychoanalytic the analytic methodology claims to present the patient with a blank slate and the patient then fills in the blank with material from their internal worlds well this is true to some degree the method doesn’t take into account the effect of being faced with a blank the Orthodox account has a linear conception of cause and effect the patient is the cause and whatever is provoked in the analyst is the effect the analyst feeling sleepy is a consequence of the state of the patient’s internal world or being caused by some projection emanating from the patient well the relation is say that the analyst cannot not participate in the analytic process the analyst necessarily has an influence on the proceedings whatever is taking place in the consulting room it has been co-created by all those present in the room now the progenitor of group analysis Fuchs was well aware of this when he said every interpretation has transference implications and for that matter counter transference implications the mere fact that the therapist responds to material by interpreting it has considerable transference implications similarly the absence of response on his part on this basis Fuchs in his radical incarnation is also relational radical Fuchs was clear that ever the therapist does or does not do it will necessarily have a consequence for the therapeutic encounter with this in mind he says it is important for the therapist to admit that his personal influence is inevitably strong in spite of all his precautions to minimize this therefore he should use it consciously rather than haphazardly or unconsciously what does he mean by this in what sense should one use one’s influence consciously I’ll Park discretion and come back to it in the later part of the talk well as I was writing I noticed that I was tending to use the note the terms relational and social interchangeably as though they were the same thing so I want briefly just to attend to this distinction the significance of the social the idea of the social is brought to light by contrasting it with individualism to this way of thinking the individualist way of thinking the individual exists first and secondarily they join together with other individuals to generate the social and Society the difficulties of social life now are thought to be caused by projections of the difficulties residing in the internal worlds of these individuals that are interacting with each other meanwhile according to Elias Fuchs and others the social exists prior to the

individual each individual is born into a pre-existing social and so the social is already a part of their unique individuality from the very first moments of their existence importantly the social is constituted by and is an expression of power relations and so our psyches are constituted by power relations to we are born into multiple discourses which we unknowingly imbibe and form the basis for the ways we come to think about a next into the world from this it follows that our perceptions and theories however objective we think them to be are intrinsically compromised by the ideologies one is constrained by ideologies are the rationalized self interests of the more powerful the ideologies behind the social construction of a particular version of reality can partially be revealed through a socio-political deconstruction which allows other versions of reality to come into view so so they will think now on the relational similarly in the individualist account individuals exist first and then secondarily they relate to each other in the relational paradigm that which relates the individual emerges out of the relationship in other words and counter-intuitively the relationship is prior to that which relates were to put it in another language into subjectivity is prior to subjectivity and objectivity I think but maybe it is possible to conceive of the relational as the social made manifest at a local level in which case it is clear that the inter subjective field is also constituted by power relations the notions of intersubjectivity speak more directly into the realm of psychology but in some renditions of intersubjectivity it has spoken of as though the intersubjective field existed in a sociological vacuum and so it makes no mention of power relations the point is important because the absence of power relations from the discussion would make it appear that all persons have equal status and are effective uniformly by the inter subjective field now these versions of the idiom social and relational they find a ready home under the umbrellas of post-modernism and post structuralism post-structuralism to fix meaning it’s subverted by the ambiguities both within the subject sorry both within the object of study and within the interpreter herself or himself as well as multiplicities paradoxes and irreducible inconsistencies that undermined foundational theories and preclude definition and foreclosure meanwhile post modernists argue that reality and subjective experience are always co-constructed events and as such are open to socio-political analyses and yet we humans are not just forms of social forces we are also Kantian beings capable of acting and not just reacting we are free to choose but the possibility of manifesting our choices are deeply constrained by the discourses that we are born into but more our very choices are to a large degree shaped by these self same discourses this was also Marx’s contention when he said this men make their own history but they do not make it just as they please they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves but under circumstances directly encountered giving and transmitted from the past we’re speaking here of recursive processes of each feeding into and creating the other even worse each has being similarly created this recursive process is more profound than the more straightforward one of constraint because the idea of constraint retains the individual social divide and it feeds into the myth that we are all potentially autonomous individuals

that are constrained by social forces coming from outside us the better term is that of enabling constraints that which constrains us also forms us and which we also form this complicates the simple picture of individuals exercising their Kantian autonomy because now autonomy itself agency is shaped by the self-same enabling constraints reform even what in the same moment we are being formed we are part of it and it is a part of us this sort of paradoxical rendition of existential reality despite it being materialist sounds not so far from that of the Mystics both mystics and post modernist are of the view that objective reality cannot be directly accessed however their way of understanding why this is so different as it each of their ways of dealing with the predicament this predicament for the mystic the reason that objective reality cannot be accessed is because it does not exist they declare that experience to be Maya illusion and that one needs to join with it to become it to know this to be the case this is a state of Nirvana where desire ends and the state of enlightenment is achieved where distinctions between being and not being have no meaning it is an experience of oneness and at the same time of nothingness existence is and is not it is paradoxical meanwhile the postmodernist says that we can never make any claim about objective reality because our experiences are always informed and formed by the discourses we inhabit because we are immersed forever within ideology and we can only ever experience the world through its veil we can never access objective reality now the postmodernist solution to this existential predicament in which nothing can be taken at face value even one’s own thoughts and experiences is to strike up an attitude of irony towards all claims of knowledge and more importantly towards its all experience all things can can be and are deconstructed including the one doing the deconstructing irony looks at experience and asks with a raised eyebrow as it were really let’s look at why you come to think this to be the case and there’s a real virtue in this kind of questioning as it opens things up to expose the hidden workings of power relations ideology and self-interest however it can also lead to a situation in which existence and experience is ultimately rendered shallow and nihilistic because it leads to a sterile version of relativism in which anything goes ultimately irony is a form of detachment and this is where I part ways with this version of post-modernism I broadly subscribe to the post modernist version of its existence and the predicaments it gives rise to but I also think that there is an objective reality beyond me even though I am only able to access it in the limited and distorted ways that I’ve just been describing in this sense I am a critical realist in that I think I can say things about objective reality even whilst I realize that what I say is always problematic and is always open to revision on this basis I want to argue for another sort of stance in relation to this existential predicament another stance from that of ironic detachment I want to argue instead for a form of commitment in the face of radical uncertainty and this in turn would require the analyst a deep form of reflexivity and engagement rather than detachment it will require for the analyst a deep form of involvement so much so that it will bring into question whether we should retain the very

categories of analyst and treatment so given that the relational ethos is of the view that there is no one royal road to therapeutic success and given that it takes a stance a strong stance against the very idea of generalizable technique Jay Greenberg points out that there’s a surprising uniformity in the relational literature about the trajectory followed by treatments the story in each of the car examples he gives are as follows after a period of work the analysis comes to an impasse which gives rise to unbearable tensions and anxieties in both protagonists under intense pressure the analyst unwittingly exposes something of their own person in ways that the orthodoxy would construe as an acting out and analytic failure for the relation is however this is not acting out but a necessary unconscious enactment in which the analyst is triggered into some action that is revealing of their person this enactment which shocks all parties is followed by some sort of working through which frees the process to continue in more productive ways Greenberg suggests that there’s a growing implication in the relational literature that this is how all good analyses should proceed there will be a crisis there will be an enactment the resolution of which is the therapy Greenberg says that this starts looked suspiciously like a relational Royal Road the sample list that Greenberg provides includes instances of the analyst admitting to the patient that he has lied to her and then enlists her collaboration in understanding his reasons for doing so and now that confesses her erotic feelings for her patient another recognizes his patient as cold and brings her a blanket another puts his face of it in front of his patient and screams shut up when Hoffman any of you done that you’re not confessing as yet this is what the day is about he cites another example to do with Hoffman which is that when his Hoffman’s training patient insisted on sitting face to face and she asked him whether it’s absolutely necessary to use a couch for the analytic process Hoffman replies well I don’t know about the process but it might be necessary for me to graduate graduate well what’s reading this it occurred to me that the contemporary codes of conduct of this institute the intergroup analysis its affiliates as well as pretty much every psychotherapy and counseling institution in the UK would deem each of these practitioners to have acted unethically in each of these situations they’d be charged with gross professional misconduct and be heavily censored in part this is because our profession is becoming more and more bureaucratized and consequently its values are becoming increasingly aligned with the litigation phobic defensive command-and-control ethos of bureaucracies generally the ethos that is being promoted is increasingly positivist and accords with what Schon has called technical rationality in which professional activity consistent instrumental problem-solving made rigorous by the application of scientific theory and technique I would in fact want to make the correction made allegedly rigorous by the alleged application of scientific theory and technique but that is a topic for another day my point here is that whatever the intention of the codes there’s a real danger that the ways that they are worded they end up outlawing relation Assaf this hue so let me now turn to my way of working my ramshackle cut-and-paste version of the relation I want to stress again that was not the case that I learned a relational methodology which I then put into practice rather my way of working and and my way of thinking about the work which I have drifted into has affinities with what I discovered to be

the case in the relational streams well my first problem is that to announce my ways of working suggests that I have a way of working well I do of course to some degree but this way of putting it makes me nervous as it starts pinning me down to something that might well suit one context but not another the primary reason I call my ways of working relational is because I think it is the relationship itself that is potentially therapeutic well you are likely to be singularly underwhelmed by this revelation to say this is hardly newsworthy but it is not simply the fact of the relationship that makes it therapeutic but the kind of relationship that is fostered it is the depth quality in nature of the relationship that makes it significant the classical analyst also has a relationship to the patient will beat one that is hierarchical detached and emotionally closed off the analyst is trained to take up a stance of neutrality of emotional reserve of abstinence of not gratifying any of the emotional demands of the patient all this is in the service of not muddying the transferential waters in contrast the kind of relationship I am inclined to develop has connotations with engagement reciprocity Meech and reality and is often very muddy and muddled indeed but in subscribing the values of reciprocity and mutuality I am NOT doing away with the fact that it is the well-being of the ones who come for help that is central to the encounter not mine the therapeutic relationship is and remains a deep deeply asymmetric pattern by the power relations and roles and functions of the ones who come for help and me the one who’s employed to help well it follows from the preceding discussions that my perceptions are amongst other things partial imperfect compromised subjective partisan defensive self-serving value-laden and ideologically driven there is no neutrality neutral objectivity to be found here but it is all I have this is equally true of the ones who come for help the therapeutic encounter is emergent nonlinear and therefore it is unpredictable I do not know what responses will be called out by my gestures responses in myself as much as in others what gestures and what these gestures will call out in turn I am constantly being caught out by the thoughts and feelings that emerge unbidden in me what should i do then caught as I am in muddle and darkness I begin to my answer to this by recalling Fuchs a statement cited earlier he says when he said it is important for the therapist to admit that his personal influences is inevitably strong in spite of all his precautions to minimizes therefore he should use it consciously rather than haphazardly or unconsciously well nothing in Fuchs as writings would suggest that he means that the therapist should use their influence deliberately in the service of manipulation to do this would be unethical as it would be doing something to the patient without their knowledge or consent I think what he meant who might mean I should say is found in another prey place where he says this he says that the therapist should have the courage to be his lateral self I find affinity with this idea of natural self but I want to distinguish it from the notion of a true self which arises out of the essentialist a social vision of the romantics I take natural to mean unadorned and unadorned by the mystique that cloaks the classical analysts this mystique is actively produced by many of the norms of what is thought to be good analytic practice for example to

habitually meet and greet the client impassively another is the practice of entering a group room uttering no word looking at no person only the floor then there’s a convention of speaking in a disembodied voice in the Objectivist language of the third person and so on none of these practices are natural in the sense that this is not how one would normally behave on meeting other human beings and if one did indeed behave like this then 1 1 1 would give the impression of being somewhat disturbed and rather peculiar well we habituate our patients into accepting these peculiar behaviors as meaningful and if they do not comply and find the situation so created disturbing and troubling then their response is readily interpreted as some resistance and difficulty emanating from within them Dennis Brown once said to me that in his view one should extend the same courtesies to patients as one would to a guest in one’s home I agree but even here there remains the distance engendered by the formalities required of guests and hosts for this reason I’m inclined to go further past courtesy towards familiarity and authenticity and if we are lucky intimacy as to why I think this to be a good thing I’ll come to later but how to get there when I do not even know in which direction it lies and even if I did know what would I need to do to start heading in that direction in this way I am in a state of radical uncertainty radical ontological uncertainty about the status of everything including my very thoughts and feelings and experiences but this rational uncertainty although genuine is of a particular and peculiar kind it is the kind of uncertainty that afflicted Descartes and made him doubt everything but his own thought the post modernist critique is so powerful precisely because it says to Descartes that he cannot rely on his thought either because it has already infiltrated it was the same kind of deep rational uncertainty that famously drove the younger Wittgenstein to insist in Bertrand Russell’s study that they could not be certain that there was not a rhinoceros in the room now as reminded of this when I was seeing some I’m saying somebody who’s very very paranoid his lived experience is of being the subject of a global conspiracy that is tracking his every move on the occasions I’ve said that I do not think this to be true and my reasons for it he would repost but how do you know all and any rational evidence I could put forward can always be torpedoed by this question how do you know but this kind of profound uncertainty is peculiar because it only Rises by virtue of having amputated all the sensor organs the means by which we come to experience the world it is tantamount to me closing my eyes and then wondering whether you are actually there or not of course the Technion the reason behind this manoeuvre is to do away with subjectivity in order to get hold of a value free objective purchase on reality and the later post Tractatus Wittgenstein changed his mind on this about the rhinoceros and he rehabilitated experience into the production of knowledge so even though I can never objectively and absolutely some prove something to be the case somehow I nevertheless know it to be the case the basis of this knowing is my lived experience a lived experience that cannot be captured by the measuring protocols of positivist science but this form of knowledge is not certain either and yet it is all I have it is in this place of deep uncertainty that I require commitment and what I am committing to is my sense of things in the moment my thoughts and experiences as they arise in me committing to the gestures and responses that are being called out of me I’m trying to be true in the moment in relation to the person or persons I am sitting with and with whatever is

taking place between us in that moment the sort of truth I am alluding to in the phrase true in the moment makes no claim to objectivity nor does it have much to do with the sort of scientific truth that the classical analysts imagined that their interpretations are revealing the way I am using the term true has more to do with notions of authenticity and sincerity what I feel and think is not true in any kind of objective sense yet it is all I have and so I have to commit and I have to commit to it sincerely I commit to it in this moment even whilst it is fully possible and even likely that this will be overturned in the next moment in contrast to the analytic stance of being deliberately contained an opaque and not reacting or revealing I am inclined to let my reactions to what is occurring to be more visible to be known I expose quite a lot of myself as it arises in the moment I do this because I think my responsibility is critical and necessary to the therapeutic process I think it to be a part of of the antidote to the damaged capacity for responsivity in the one who comes for help it is mostly the case that the ones who come for help have difficulties noticing and naming the responses arising in them or they have learned to keep them under wraps or perhaps that capacity to responsibility has atrophied almost entirely all the so called diagnostic hundreds of diagnostic categories in the DSM can be reduced to the simple statement that the ones who come for help have difficulties with relationships with being in relationships my responsivity then is an invitation to relationship with all the consequent difficulties of achievement in this way the relationship is the crucible in which thoughts and feelings that have been previously banished can come to have a life in this task I need to be a real presence for the ones who come for help I need to be present in order for them to respond to but I’ve made my part in the process sound too simple I said that I commit true but I also hesitate I also prevaricate I feel fear I feel caution but this too is a part of the process at times I find myself spontaneously reacting even before I know what I before I know what my reaction is I come to know it and name it only after it has occurred I find some consolation and Vikes adage which go something like this how can I know what I think until I’ve heard what I’ve said and to this I would add how can I come to know what I feel or I can only come to know what I feel after I have expressed it or after I have experienced it what I try to do in the face of muddle and contradiction is to be transparent and by transparent I mean to reveal what is arising in me in relation to what is taking place in the room I’m not suggesting that one should necessarily and continually do this rather that one should always be open to this possibility I am not proposing an injunction that says that the therapist must be responsive in this way and transparent to insist any such thing would be to create another school and in so doing reproduce the conceptual error that I think lies at the heart of the creation of any self-declared school and this is how schools in a way invent themselves it has found through experience that certain forms of engagement are helpful for example the tenets of good counseling practice reflecting back summarizing listening empathy and so on this is well and good however what happens next is that the discoveries get rid of veggie defied into rules and instructions into protocols now the person-centered counselor must interact in these ways and only in these ways if they deviate by adding their opinion to the reflecting back or horror

actually offer advice then they are not being person-centered similarly transactional and that panelists have to crowbar everything into the verifications called parent adult and child the same is true of the classical analytic paradigm the transference and misinterpretation have become the be-all and end-all of treatment to do anything other is to act out to capitulate in this way learning becomes rigidify and practice becomes highly constrained by being tied to a limited number of techniques in this way we create the illusion of distinct schools the process is not very different from the way we create and sustain the illusion of distinct cultural groups in contrast to school ism the relational ethos is of the view that there is no fixed universal psychoanalytic method on methodology applicable to all analyses so although I am arguing for openness that allows for spontaneity in and responsivity I am NOT arguing for a situation in which anything goes I am circumspect I try to be thoughtful but I don’t necessarily use thought to corral and subjugate emotion although I might my guide in my decision about which course to take can only be my intuition and so I use it I commit to it but my intuition is often wrong and so I have to be continually open to the prospect of being challenged and corrected but even on the occasions that the ones who come for help disagree with me and challenge me it is not the case that I should necessarily give way and let them have their last word this is the era of person-centered counseling they relocate the authority and expertise from the analyst into the client this error locating authority to completely in either the therapist or client is born of this linear conception of reality in which cause and effect are distinct and distinguishable from each other this is the error that the classical that the classical analyst is also prone to they imagine that everything takes that everything that takes place in the consulting room including their own thoughts and feelings are somehow caused by the patient through projection and so on similarly the person-centered counselor imagines that they can absent themself from the proceedings through the through the device of employing an apparently neutral technique of summarizing or reflecting back so that’s the first error meanwhile those who subscribed to a nonlinear co-constructed conception of reality are in danger of falling into the opposite error where individual responsibility is dissipated and disappears entirely in this conception cause and effect are not distinguishable from each other they emanate from and are aspects of the interactional field and because this has been co-created and co-constructed we cannot locate the cause for a set of sequences in any one or other person we are all complicit in what takes place whilst this is true it is true at a conceptual metal level it is not how we experience each other and the world we experience the world from a particular place and perspective I am embedded in the world I am embedded in the interactional field in the clinic and I cannot step outside it I’m just going to park this disguise for a minute and go to the notion of authenticity and come back to it what makes a response authentic first and foremost the response should be sincere by sincere I mean that the response emanates from and is congruent with my ethical being my sense of right and wrong because the domain of ethics is by its very nature value Laden it follows that an authentic response will also be value Laden rather than neutral in advocating for deliberately in

inhabiting and participating from within a value Laden ethic I’m immediately at odds with the scientific conception of psychological treatment that the analytic paradigm subscribes to then the natural scientists attitude in their quest to know things as they are deliberately brackets out values beliefs and ethics they deliberately bracket out their subjectivity their aspiration is to be fully neutral and not invested in one or other version of things now this makes total sense when engaging in a study of minerals it makes no sense whatsoever when engaging in the study of persons this is because ethics and values are what make us human remove them and we cease to be human so the kind of relationship I’m advocating for is the aye aye thou person-to-person kind not the scientist Burton kind not the analyst two-person kind not the psychologists person kind so I’m going to go back to the error again as it were let me now return to that discussion the fact that the intersubjective field is Co constructed and co-created does not absolve the participants from personal responsibility in this I include myself the one who tries to help we are actors and not just upon in this regard many many of the ones who come for help experienced soms experienced themselves as primarily as being acted upon as bystanders in their lives the work then becomes in part of daring to voice responses to what is occurring if the responses are sincere they will necessarily disclose and express judgments that accord with the person’s ethical frame in this process they will come to inhabit the humanity for me this is what therapy is all about there is no neutrality here but expressions of right and wrong of good and bad of likes and dislikes of hopes and fears neutrality requires detachment meanwhile I want to promote involvement and engagement and to say something about two terms are objectivity and neutrality the journalist Edie William II found himself being criticized for the way he reported on the slaughter of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian forces he was accused of losing his journalistic duty to be objective because he they said he was not being even-handed in his account he blames Milosevic as supporters and followers for instigating the horrors and perpetrating heinous war crimes against hundreds and thousands of innocents he names the perpetrators he names the victims but in his defense he says that he is being objective but that real objectivity does not entail taking the neutral stance towards what one is witnessing the only way one can remain neutral in such a situation is by cutting myself off from one’s ethical responses to the in justices one is witnessing when I read this I was stopped in my tracks to realize that objectivity is not the same as neutrality changes everything in fact neutrality in this sort of situation would require a distortion of objectivity it seems to me that we have fallen into the same arrogant into the we have fallen into the error of making the same conflation in the consulting-room we mistakenly think that to take sides to have a view is to lose one’s objectivity but none of us really knows each of us imagines that we will know what being better or feeling better will look like but we don’t know this for sure nor do we really know how to get there and even when one of us thinks that we are getting there or at least moving in the right direction there is no guarantee that the others will agree that this is the case is it even sensible to speak of better should one speak instead of deeper we are all stumbling in the dark and if we are lucky we will occasionally and accidentally trip over something and together we will come to know it to engage in the process of psychotherapy in this kind of way requires courage from all those who engage in it including the therapists as we have just

heard Fuchs saying I find myself less and less thinking of what I’m doing as delivering some form of treatment I think that the work is more about healing rather than changing or fixing or curing and I think that the relationship and my way of participating the relationship is key to this project now all those sounds suspiciously like the corrective emotional experience the bete noire of the classical psychoanalyst and the reason it is an anathema to them is because the notion gives weight to actually lived relationship over internal structures it is not the relationship of the analysts that make cures or helps it is the interpretation and this to give way to the actual relationship goes against the turn taken by Freud alluded to earlier but many other psychoanalysts did not follow Freud into this turn frenzy and ko hoot amongst others for them the corrective emotional experience is itself the therapy I tend to agree but I want to introduce some caveats and put it a bit differently my hesitation is this as soon as I have an intention to produce a corrective emotional experience I will immediately instrumentalize my responses I’ll be mobilizing my responses to create certain ends certain effects consequently my responses will no longer be authentic but instrumental further because all encounters between humans are emergent and unpredictable there is no way of knowing in advance what it is that I might do to produce this corrective emotional experience we will all have had experiences now in which some inconsequential remark or gesture evokes an unexpectedly powerful response now I recall a moment some years ago that took place near the end of a session I said something I forget what and suddenly the person in front of me found herself full of tears and sobbing without knowing why what I do remember is her saying that she had just been hit by depth-charge and whatever it was we hit remained hidden what we were able to register was a disturbance as it broke through the surface it felt like kind of a moment of grace in which we were visited and moved by something precious yet unknown but I cannot set out to try to foster this kind of experience of intimacy this kind of intimacy arises through and out of sincere and authentic exchange but even so I do have ends in mind somewhere I do wish for the ones who come for help to feel better in some way to be more fulfilled in their lives and although this is my wish I cannot get there in any directed and deliberate way I enter the conversation I involve myself with my being I have to trust that this little will go a long way Kierkegaard’s well-known aphorism captures why psychotherapy cannot be an instrumental endeavor lost it’s not okay he says life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards having lived having understood a particular life or a particular therapy by looking back on it we mistakenly think that we can instrumentalize this understanding to determine future outcomes of other lines and other therapies we then write manuals and codes of practice but I am overstating it surely and hopefully the reason that my practice has shifted is because of the ways that experience has changed me I have learned something from experience the situation is one of paradoxical tension a tension that cannot be and ought not to be resolved I try to immerse myself in the moment even whilst unlike beyond I am full of memory and desire i immerse myself in the moment and trust that I will manage to stay true to the turbulence that follows my argument is this has been this that more important than what the therapy does is that is the kind of person the therapist is and the way the therapist is this work is in the territory of

being and being with rather than of doing in conclusion the detached stance of the classical analyst is congruent with and true to the scientific conception of classical psychoanalysis and although many practitioners have taken the relational turn I think they have done so only partially the might have shifted allegiance to a relational conception of life but their form of practice is discordant with that conception as it continues the ways of the detached scientific analyst I give the last word to Hoffman who said this I think the reports of the death of the classical stance are highly exaggerated on the contrary I agree with Greenberg that the a social view of transference is alive and well in contemporary psychoanalytic practice thank you