Tuesday, May 3, 2016

tensions in the echoistic ego ideal

A psychoanalyst is running a group to work with issues of feeling one is asking for 'too much" and I thought I'd share it as a description of an altruistic proto ego ideal:

Many people have been made to feel that whatever they want is  ‘too much’.  For some, even the most modest requests might feel like ‘too much.’

For example

"I would like to charge x fee, but I think it would be too much..."

“I would like to resign from managed care panels, but I am afraid that would be ‘too much’ for my patients…”

But ‘too much’ for who?  Were we once "too much" for our parents and then came to see ourselves that way?  

But the phrase, “too much” is itself worthy of analysis particularly if you’re an analyst.

What exactly is "too much" anyway and should the therapist be completely hostage to it?   

This psychoanalyst has been trained in the modern school of Spotnitz and so there aren't deep interpretations or anything going on with the internal objects or different forms of id aggression or affection. Many would say the school is bad or out of touch because it does have judgments about what "maturation" is that deal with character and not inner structure, which would make it sound scientific.

However, many of the school, including this therapist, attribute more to socialization than they do to pscyhosexual development. He writes: 

Many therapists (women especially) have been socialized to not ask for "too much" as though such a thing were immoral or psychologically sinful.  

I've found that you-statements constructed for such a person will point to an echoistic injury from a parental-substitute (if not the actual parents). 

You ask what the other would think of you if you asked for the "high fee" and get some ideas about being selfish, uncaring, or presumptuous, and you can find that the echoist endured this from someone too. 

Again, affect is key in psychoanalysis and you have to get to the anger, hate, or feelings of abandonment, etc. that was felt.

The anal stage is a good candidate for this feeling of too muchness. At the pugneus level, No is a problem, and people are often at the level of survival, the question is whether they are part of the society or not, and there are often dynamics in which they feel like they might be homeless (i.e. a good example of someone not participating in society).  The too muchness resonates with the person as a member of civilization, the question isn't whether they belong to society or feel like they are struggling to do so, but whether they are able to be like others with jobs, who pay taxes, and who are part of a rank and file. Then at the phallic stage it narrows or differentiates more, and concerns putting oneself before siblings, friends, or others one is close to. 


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