The seminar intends to stimulate a reflection on the self-reflective aspects of the analyst’s participation in the process. In particular, with the help some clinical examples, the discussion focuses on the inevitable re-proposition by the analyst of the familiar relational models on which the patient structured his internal world. Because of elements of his own personality, the analyst might re-propose himself as a “new bad object”, i.e. a disapproving and disconfirming object (Fairbairn), and might have to engage a fight with himself in order not to be trapped in the role of the ancient object. Steven Cooper, who discussed these themes in his 2010 book, A disturbance in the field, states that the patient emotionally perceives the flows of the analyst’s internal fight and, for this reason, the analytic couple can understand repetition if the analyst is able to maintain a constant self-reflective position. This is an important part of therapeutic action. Follows a wide-ranging historical review of the concept of therapeutic action in relation to the analyst’s inevitable limits in performing his role.
Keywords: Bad object, self-reflectivity, repetition compulsion, changing, psychoanalytic process, relational patterns