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In Session: Chapter 8 - Mothers Lost and Found

Posted by daisym on August 7, 2005, at 1:39:22

This was an important chapter for me because I think it describes very accurately the way I think about my therapy. Not that I want my therapist to be my mom, (OK, well sometimes) but more about the developmental stages I seem to be going through with him. I know that Lott indicates that infant development research has shown that separation into self isn't a long drawn out painful process for infants like we once believed it to be. But I would argue that it isn't the development of the whole child that we revisit as adults but rather our emotional growth and the safety. The tasks of infancy involve so many different aspects: physical, spatial relations, even brain growth. The tasks of adult emotional growth seem to me to only involve this one area...which is probably why it feels so HUGE and like such a monumental undertaking. There aren't these other developmental tasks to accomplish and feel good about.

So many things about this chapter resonate with me. The idea of "emotional object constancy" and the internalization of mother reminds me of what I'm trying to do with my therapist. We call it "therapist permanence" because I have such a hard time holding onto our connection and believing that it is OK for him to worry about me between sessions and it is OK for me to hear him in my head sometimes. And when she talked about merging and separating. I think this is something we are working on as well. It feels scary but good to allow myself to merge with him but drawing back is painful and leaves this void that is excruciatingly lonely.

I also identified with leaving something in the office. I still feel stupidly happy that the box I gave him for Christmas is sitting on his desk.




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