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Looking for Ground by Peter M. Carnochan

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CHAPTER ONE

ATLASS PERCH

Analysts, in the attempt to help patients, shoulder substantial burdens. They must provide a platform from which the patient can begin to sort through the false turns and recesses of personality. We can risk further metaphor and say the analyst is a kind of modern Atlas. Analysts are asked to bear the analysand’s transference and possess a firmness of vision that will allow them to distinguish distortion from reality. But when I think about Atlas with the world on his shoulders, I cannot help but wonder about his perch. On what does Atlas stand? In the analytic encounter we are faced with the same question as we strive to get our footing. Analysts, too, are bound to subjectivity, and any knowing gained is dependent on ...

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