Monday, February 3, 2014
Dear Dr. Zev,
I've been seeing a therapist for the past few months and I'm questioning whether I should continue with him. At first he seemed to be very supportive, but once I became comfortable and familiar with him he changed his whole approach. Lately he has been treating me in ways that make me question whether he is the right therapist for me.
My therapist has become very provocative and sarcastic with me. Sometimes he goads me by purposely twisting and exaggerating what I'm saying. When I confront him with this he denies it with a slight smile. I feel that my therapist is intentionally trying to make me angry at him. I told him this but he just used what I said to incite me even more. I told him that I don't like this type of treatment but he has continued to tease me and insult me anyway. He says that this is a legitimate therapeutic approach called modern psychoanalysis which was founded by a psychiatrist named Hyman Spotnitz, M.D. What should I do? My therapist came highly recommended and is sometimes still very nice and helpful to me. Could it be that I need this kind of challenging and provocative therapy? The problem is that it makes me feel very angry and powerless. Please write back soon. I really need your advice.
Thank you for your letter. I am familiar with the method that your therapist is using with you. It is based on the belief that depression is caused by anger that is turned against the self. Dr. Spotnitz advocated that a modern psychoanalyst should make himself a target for his patient's aggression so that the patient's repressed aggression will come out on the analyst and not on himself. This is supposed to provide the person with a cathartic relief from his depressive mood.
Here's what's wrong with this approach: Continue here...
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