One of the biggest sources of the intense and debilitating anxiety of the developing practitioner concerns the application of analytic “rules”. That is, practitioners often feel (or so they tell me) that they are not working in accord with these rules. Two in particular are often mentioned. The first is that they should not be imposing their own ideas on the patient, or determining the course of the session by choosing a focus for the work. The second idea, clearly related to the first, is that they should not be trying to “know” something about the patient, as that would seem to contradict the principle of “not-knowing”, which they have taken as a fundamental aspect of the analytic approach.
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