ERIC Number: ED211906
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Reconciling Feminism and Psychoanalysis: The Patient as Therapist to the Therapist.
Although incompatible differences appear to exist between psychoanalytic therapy, which involves a hierarchical relationship, and feminism, which stresses egalitarian values, some versions of psychoanalytic theory are able to maintain their hierarchy within a context consistent with feminist values. Freud touched on the importance of the two-person relationship in therapy; neo-Freudians and object-relation theorists brought a major shift toward comprehending psychopathology as an interpersonal phenomenon. Feminist criticism of the therapeutic relationship as abusive is refuted in discussions of the real nontransference aspects of the psychoanalytic situation. Although feminists have suggested that the patient in therapy is disempowered, there can be considerable power and respect given to the patient. One aspect of psychoanalytic therapy consistent with feminist ideas concerns the patient's self-curative capacity and active participation in change which empowers the patient, reduces arbitrary authority, and enhances mutuality. Recognition of the therapist's humanness, fallibility, and unconscious conflicts, as well as the patient's perceptions of countertransference in the therapist and the patient's subsequent restitutive attempts, contribute to a more liberating clarification of analytic practice. (NRB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).