The psychopathic meaning of life. When the therapeutic relationship becomes a battlefield
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prywatna praktyka
Submission date: 2020-06-02
Acceptance date: 2020-07-08
Publication date: 2020-09-08
Corresponding author
Dominik Gawęda   

prywatna praktyka
Psychoter 2020;193(2):23-31
The article constitutes an attempt to draw attention to the phenomena of the “psychopathic meaning of life”, which sometimes appears as a basic theme of the therapeutic dialogue. The author attempts to demonstrate, referring to the Freudian metaphor of the process of transference as military action, how the psychopathic meaning of a patient’s life appropriates the therapeutic dialogue, leading to an impasse in it. The clinical illustration of this phenomenon constitutes a description of the psychotherapeutic process of the author with a patient who introduces the “psychopathic meaning of life” in the area of therapy. The said description demonstrates how the therapeutic relationship, from the outset, becomes a battlefield in which the work of the psychotherapist resembles the work of a sapper, who may lead his foolhardy actions only when acts of war are for some reason ceased for a moment. Warfare conducted by both sides of the therapeutic process could be desired for this type of patients (for reasons marked in the paper). On the other hand, the therapist is left with very little space for reflection and is reclaimed the peace necessary to conduct “sapper” activities. Under these specific circumstances, an in-depth analysis of the countertransference reaction seems a wholly necessary measure, to reclaim – at least for a while – peace and the ability to think. It constitutes a prerequisite, although insufficient for a positive outcome of this process. For this process to be successful, the author perceives as necessary the existence of specific conditions on the part of the patient, which he gives a working name of the “therapeutic window”.
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