Excerpt About Psychotherapy

Going Directly to the Empty Hole in the Unconscious Self-Image

In psychotherapy, patients or students sometimes spend a tremendous amount of time dealing with their feelings of lack, and with their fears and defenses. The analyst can spend much time analyzing all the associations and childhood experiences relating to these feelings. The personality is full of such memories, associations, and reactions, so there appears to be a lot of understanding. But there is generally no fundamental change. With the method we are introducing here, we can go directly to the empty hole in the unconscious self-image. Instead of analyzing and understanding every association and reaction to this lack, we can cut directly into all of them —they are only later accumulated images functioning as a veil—and go to the central experience, that of the genital hole. The associations and reactions to the hole are infinite; the student can try to understand why he feels passive, why he feels weak, why he is afraid of losing his strength, and so on, by connecting them to childhood experience. And of course when the genital hole is being dealt with directly, some of these associations do come up. However, they are not the point. The individual feels worthless, for instance, not because he or she was treated badly and not valued in the past. The worthlessness is maintained in the present by the deficient emptiness, which is due to a loss of an aspect of one’s Being. This loss is the primary event, not the events which led to it. Understanding one’s worth in terms of one’s relations to others in childhood can be useful and is often necessary, but it is not what will lead to transformation. Only seeing and understanding the lack, the hole itself, will lead to transformation, to the retrieval of what was lost.

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