Psychoanalysis: Liberation or neo-repression?

Psychotherapy session.

Psychoanalysts and confessional priests seem to me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) to have a lot in common. Both are poking around in the parts of persons' lives that the persons in whose lives they are poking around may feel uncomfortable about it. Also, the pokees do not get to poke back at the pokers whose secrets are off limits. If my confessor or shrink asks about my sex life, is not what's good for the goose good for the gander and turnaround is fair play?

Bad (that, of course, is one person's value judgment) confessional priests poke around looking for sodomites[1] for who knows what reason. Bad shrinks poke around looking for resentment against parents, probably because they don't want to let any kids resent themselves. Good confessional priests and shrinks, on the oither hand, seek to bring comfort, peace and self-acceptance to persons who may be suffering from guilt, either guilty consciences or toxic introjects. Alice Miller split with psychoanalysis over this issue.

Who knows what nosy consfessional priests want to do with parishioners' sex secrets except to make them more miserable than their parents and teaches and others have already made them miserable, but maybe because their own sexuality is messed up? Nosy psychoanalysts want to make patients forgive obnoxious parents, maybe because they themselves are obnoxious power figures who have had to eat their own resentment at their own obnoxious parents and teaches and so forth? Self-righteous perps in positions of power always pounce on the motes in the eyes of the helpless to deflect attention from the beams in their own, and birds of a feather proactively run interference for one another. Disgusting, aren't they?

I don't know about Roman Catholic clergy. but I do have plenty of first hand experience with self-righteous psychotherapists in a third-rate psychoanalytic training institute who probably had credential envy, and the best of them were only relatively hokier-than-thou. One of them was sad; he had incipient multiple sclerosis and seemed to have a house full of shtetl relatives. But another of them lied to me and told a different lie to another student to try to cause trouble or maybe just because he forgot what he had said.

I never heard even one of them confessing to us students that they had deep dark secrets of which they were ashamed; obviously each of them had been delivered by the stork and if they had any sexuality only did it with their lawfully wedded spouse in the missionary position with the lights turned off and it didn't happen, but even that was a secret from us students about whom they wanted to know everything that was none of their business. I did see them extorting money out of students for training analysis (they didn't like that I had a therapist outside the school) and blocking me from using a supervisor who was not one of them even though he was in charge of another therapy organization where the two institutions were considering possibly merging. My independence blocked their owsy-wowsy-ing to conspire how too jerk me around, and they did not like that, so they excommunicated me. A good student was an obedient student. What were student therapists supposed to do with their patients? Encourage their independent thinking and affirming the justness of their rage at authority figures? (The medium is the message.)

Of course good confessionals and good analyses are possible. And if the priest or therapist earns the penitent's/patient's trust, getting repressed pain out and being able at lest to affirm its justness is great. But, as in "honor code" schooling, you cannot "double dimension": You can't expect the powerless to tell the truth if telling the truth will just earn them more harm than they are already experiencing. Anybody who falls for that is ripe to be conned by anybody, or maybe one day to come into the office (confessional) with a loaded pistol. Bang! ~ Can you imagine Sigmund Freud being bombarded all day by patients who told him how they had been disciplined by strict parents into being obedient and how school teachers had not properly respected them and that moils were vampires who should be castrated, and that all these horrible people were bourgeois prigs who smoked cigars who should roast in hell forever? I think he would have just stewed in his own self-ashamed circumcised juices.

I have figured out how to tell a sociopath from a malignant narcissist. When a sociopath gets caught, they might ask: "Why did it take you so long?" When a malignant narcissist gets caught, they may ask: "Who are you talking about?"

A question for the people who get paid do therapy

Given the forced choice between maintaining the rules and watching a patient rot, and intervening to radically improve a patient's life, which side are you on?

I will reiterate my example here: It was obvious that I had intractable difficulty and failed finding a suitable woman and that I very much wanted an appropriate mate. It was also clear that I was not a piece of shit one-nite stander or other creep. My therapist said that there were a lot of women who would like to find a man like me, either directly stating or implying that she knew at least one. But no introduction.

I continued to rot in a social surround in which I could not find a suitable female friend and erotic (not just discharge of semen) partner. Do not tell me the therapist broke the rules by even mentioning about women she knew or knew about;. I am not so dense as to not speculate that even if a person does not volunteer information sbout something they seem good at, they might have some. ("You say you think I have friends who might be sexually interested in you?" "Tell me about it, and I will give you an interpretation of why you have such a thought." "You would like a woman?" "Tell me about that and I will give you an interpretation why you have that desire." Implicitly thought but not vocalized: "I always follow the rules. I am a therapist without sin." ....)

So there it is: Are you in the business to help persons? Or are you in the business to demonstrate your conformant obedience to Ascii character strings: rules cooked up by a religion, just in this case, a religion that is not much interested in extra-mundane Deities? To paraphrase Republican former governor of the state of Ohio, John Kasik:

Is psychoanalysis your master or is it your vehicle?

What is the patient paying you for? To help them have a better life? Or for you to prove you can follow The Sigmund Freud Party Line? Cui bono?  

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  1. Note that, according to Notre Dame professor of medieval theology Mark Jorden, self-pleasuring was considered to be a form of sodomy.

No person or social formation (e.g.: government) should cross the line beyond which a person's body and/or soul is compromised. Show respect! Keep your distance! Request permission and pass inspection before approaching!

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2022-05-02 06:02:41