Psychoanalytic Listening: How to become a better listener

Psychoanalytic Listening: Methods, Limits, Innovations — Author: Salman Ahktah — Published 2013

To help avoid the stigma of seeing a psychologist or counsellor, I will attempt to address and show you the inner workings of the mind of a counsellor (referred to as analyst in extracts) to help you see that they are ultimately out for your best interests.

Extracts which believe are worth considering ( I have made minor adjustments to maintain the same tense)

–The fundamental rule of the psychoanalytic technique is that the client must say what comes to mind

— In domestic life we should try put aside analytic listening aside as much as possible and not let technical jargon crowd out the vernacular of ‘ordinary’ human conversation. Such restraints on the use of our analytical minds paradoxically sharpen their edge

–Maturity and mental health depend on the extent to which a person can acknowledge reality as it is and be rational and wise

— A selective strategical shifting of focus of attention is more useful than ‘evenly suspended attention’ when listening to analytical material

— By attention to postures, gestures and movement the analyst gains deeper knowledge of the client

— Analysts who have had significant experiences of bodily illness or trauma, or who perhaps for other reasons of an innate or experimental kind have a highly connected body ego, there may be increased capacity to utilise bodily response in their analytical work

— Empathy is simply a function of the experiencing ego, whereas intuition comes from the analysing ego

— The notion of an attainable certainty of an ultimate knowledge reality must be regarded as an illusion

— interpretation is, in the end a form of psychic violence

— Self is nothing but a collection of reflective appraisals and anxiety can only occur in an interpersonal context

–Nothing can be listening to without taking the impact of the relationship between the client and the analyst into account

— Subjectivity and objectivity are both necessary pathways to knowledge and are dependant on each other

— How present-day experience may be misinterpretation in terms of derivatives of persistent unconscious fantasies from the past

— the true self is indescribable

— A client might not be running away from disturbing mental contents but might be running towards the state of tangible mental content

— The analyst is not only interested in the un-mined (pun intended) areas of his mental field but genuinely believes the client can develop the ability to look at this realm himself

— Defensive ‘silence’ might appear spontaneously and is then a response to the emergent unacceptable wishes and fantasies in the client

— Enactments in the form of silence can reflect self-protection, important identifications, reversals of traumatic childhood scenarios and destructiveness towards the treatment process

— Genuine communication only arises when objects change over from being subjective to being objectively received


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