An analysis of resistance

As resistance is theorized to be a manifestation of the unconscious mind's attempts to protect the egoit is the task of the psychoanalyst to combat this opposition by directing the patient to confront the unacceptable desires or uncomfortable memories.

I'm sure you've noticed that this page is much longer than any other in the website. Whilst the origin of the phenomenon of resistance as we experience it in psychoanalysis may be in the unconscious nucleus of pathogenic material, rather than resisting, this material seeks expression.

These books aren't necessarily bad — well, some are — but they can't adapt and accommodate to your particular style of resistance, to your personality. Instead he favored a slow process of working through.

She was not aware of the dynamics I just described; from her point of view, she was simply responding to the facts of the world — I and the people she was thinking of dating are not to be trusted.

This is a story, Gene later told me, that he had entertained friends with in bars and other places for years.

ego resistance

Keep an eye out on the blog for a funny example from my own life. Reconnecting with the totality of what happened when he was seven years old — and other times — eventually freed him from one of the symptoms that brought him into treatment: Prior to therapy, he moved through his life with a great deal of anxiety, particularly focused on anticipated humiliation; he found it very difficult to relax even around close friends, and he was especially guarded and uncomfortable with women.

But the experience — the range of feelings and perceptions surrounding the event — had long ago been shunted out of consciousness. Sometimes a therapist or friend may alert you to gaps in your memory but otherwise you may never notice them.

Psychoanalysis interpretation

In relation to what Freud, at the beginning of his description of psychical resistance, calls a nucleus. Instead, he encourages us to ask a deceptively simple question: who is resisting? Rather than becoming an ego-to-ego affair, a psychoanalysis should focus on the speech of the analysand, addressed to the analyst incarnated in the role of Other. Challenge the resistance at the level of the ego, Lacan suggests, and the symptom answers back. For we find that even after the ego has decided to relinquish its resistances it still has difficulty in undoing the repressions; and we have called the period of strenuous effort which follows after its praiseworthy decision, the phase of "working-through". Resistance is very normal. Usually, it involves the patient's attempts to gain attention and sympathy by emphasizing minor medical symptoms i. If speech is a way of approaching the unconscious kernel in a radial or roundabout direction — through various stratified layers — what, then, is resisting? Since Freud first developed his theory of resistance, he has been significantly criticized for using personally favorable and unfalsifiable theory , among other problems. In therapy, this may come about if the therapist reminds the patient, either consciously or unconsciously, of someone in their past who may have had an early impact on their life. Before examining in closer detail the implications of this tension Lacan identifies between the imaginary and symbolic registers for the handling of resistances in psychoanalysis, we can summarise our conclusions on the question of where the resistances come from. The words they use conceals a message of which they are unaware, but which points, in spite of their conscious intentions, to the repressed material that comprises the unconscious nucleus. This is similarly why psychotherapy can take a long time and why other measures may be doomed to fail.

Freud then integrated these findings with his previous theories concerning the functions of the id, ego and super-ego.

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Defense and resistance in the psychoanalytic process.