Chapter 7

COMMITMENT AND BOUNDARIES

Commitment Conflicts and Staying Outside Treatment

When I took my first class in analytic technique, I was a candidate at an analytic institute that made much of what was called “the commitment conflicts,” which were said to be common if not universal in patients who were beginning psychoanalytic therapy. This conflict, which focused on allowing oneself to participate fully in the analytic process, involved the fear of regression and its concomitant ills. One would be exposed, would be subject to the control of another person, and would thereby soon have to relinquish the supposed gains that accrued from being sick and having symptoms—if and when a real commitment were to be made to the process. Not surprisingly, ...

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