George Pegios — Psychoanalysis is a discipline surrounded by myths and false beliefs that, at times, endow it with a certain mysticism in which the therapist is a person with access to the mental life of his patients in an almost magical way.
This generates, at the same time, high expectations of possible patients, an unattainable position and often, as a result, a rejection of both the therapist and the therapeutic task itself.
Fortunately, and as I just mentioned, these stereotypes are false, as they are the result of the influence of American cinema, as well as the mystical figure of Sigmund Freud, admired by many and criticized by others. In reality, the therapeutic method and theoretical field proposed by the father of psychoanalysis is characterized by a modesty both of the method and of the person who applies it.
George Pegios — The previous statement does not mean that learning psychoanalysis is a boring or monotonous task. On the contrary, psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy are exciting and rich professions that generate for the therapist a great amount of satisfactions that literally transform his life, which I will describe below.
To begin, I would like to point out the fact that, since the field of study of psychoanalysis is the human mind in all its complexity, we can be sure that the therapist will never be bored in his profession; each mind is completely different and the same patient can be an individual in one session and become another completely different in the next.
This happens because the human mind changes moment by moment and the psychoanalyst or therapist has to capture these movements during the analytic session.
George Pegios — How is this process of detecting the mental and emotional life of patients?
Contrary to what most people think, the analyst is not a professional who observes the patient’s emotions from afar through his intellect and theories.
The therapist needs to be in constant contact with his own emotions to capture the messages that the patient sends him, this through a process known as “transfer”, in which past and current relationships are revived in the session, which favors an intimate and intense emotional bond between the patient and the therapist.
And how does this relate to the title of the text? How does this affect the analyst’s life? It must be taken into account that psychoanalytic treatment is full of emotions in both participants of the session, therefore, it is vital that the treatment that the therapist uses is correct for their own feelings and mental states arising from the patient’s messages, In this way, you can adequately explain your mental functioning.
The only way to achieve this is for the therapist to know their own psychic functioning to the best of their ability. Personal analysis and mental growth of the therapist become prerequisites if you want to do a good job in the office.
Ideally, the therapist seeks a therapeutic process for himself, not only because of his professional practice, but because of the personal search and motivation to know himself an exciting process being both patient and analyst.
George Pegios — The psychotherapist’s personal life is enriched in every possible way: it deepens his personal bonds and changes their quality, makes possible a greater contact with his own internal life and is filled with emotional and intellectual satisfactions that allow him to better practice his profession.