Long-Term Psychoanalytic Supervision with Donald Meltzer : The Tragedy of Triumph book cover
1st Edition

Long-Term Psychoanalytic Supervision with Donald Meltzer
The Tragedy of Triumph

ISBN 9781138348585
Published November 8, 2018 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

Long-Term Psychoanalytic Supervision with Donald Meltzer is a detailed account of a particularly demanding analysis which Donald Meltzer closely supervised over twelve years. This will enable the reader to closely follow the internal life of a long-term, trying analysis. The reader can see how Meltzer’s thoughts had crucially guided the course of this analysis in many of its most challenging moments, often redirecting it. By watching things happening, the reader is enabled to get a deeper insight into Meltzer's highly complex, though outstanding thought. On many particularly important points, the author invited Meltzer to give his thoughts and interpretations in his own words as if he himself was the analyst. This provides the reader with a unique opportunity to ‘listen’ to Meltzer verbatim.

Long-Term Psychoanalytic Supervision with Donald Meltzer demonstrates the often overwhelming yet fascinating complexities of mental life and will speak to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, as well as those interested in the philosophy of the mind.

Table of Contents

Preface by Michael Eigen Introduction by Alberto Hahn CH1 "…for a patient to discover this atmosphere of passionate interest in his mental life is the real therapeutic factor in analysis, I think." CH2 Experiencing the session in the transference versus experiencing it outside the transference: the difference between analysis and psychotherapy CH3 Dreams as babies brought to the analyst though also as actings in the transference CH4 "If you don’t see and feel the intensity and the immediacy of the transference, then you see it in this diminished light as simply a repetition of the past." CH5 "When she lowers the passion, she lowers the value of everything, and then abandonment is so much easier" CH6 The importance of the concept of forgiveness as a key factor in "creating a new way of thinking about things" CH7 "…it has to be made in the depths… (long silence)… in love for the truth… (long silence)…in love for the truth…" CH8 "It’s not the badness that has made the secrecy; it’s the secrecy that has made the badness" CH9 "JSM: Do you take notes of the sessions you think are important? DM: Oh no, I take notes on every session. JSM: On every session of every patient? DM: On every session of every patient. JSM – And you see fourteen patients a day…" CH10 "I can’t come [to the session], I feel it…I’m a piece of shit…I’ll come as soon as I feel human…" CH11 The faecal nature of the devil CH12 "…worrying about your patient is terribly important… the only way we have of keeping the patients safe is to be worried about them." CH13 "Well, it’s like introducing the left breast to the right breast…" CH14 "...I have to come here to know what I’ll do the next hour..." CH15 Wrestling with triumph CH16 "…the way in which she does it is by crawling inside everybody and controlling them from inside" CH17 Mother's inside transformed into a golden grave for the triumphant child CH18 "…all her actions have to be listened as if they were dreams…" CH19 Projective identification into the internal mother may infuse into the subject’s haemorrhoids such an intensely coloured pathological life CH20 An acting in the counter-transference re-enacted in the course of a supervision session CH21 "The thing about life in the claustrum is that it is cut off from the beauty of the world" APPENDIX DONALD MELTZER’S CLAUSTRUM THEORY- A BRIEF SURVEY

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João Sousa Monteiro is psychoanalyst in private practice, in Lisbon, Portugal. He worked in supervision with Donald Meltzer monthly for thirteen years. Meltzer supervised all his clinical cases during this period.


"I would like to congratulate [the author] for writing such a historic clinical document, and for his dedication and love, which is not the proper word for an analyst. This marvellous document so generously and openly brought to us by Dr. Sousa Monteiro enables us to witness…the path travelled by Meltzer in his practice and in his clinical and theoretical research, a process of ongoing inquiry and revision that lasted his entire life. Basic problems in his claustrum theory, especially within the realm of perversion as seen in the light of this theory, are discussed and illustrated here with a degree of detail and depth I have not seen before in his known work. The passion for his analytic work led Dr. Sousa Monteiro to establish a close relationship with Meltzer and to write this unique document. With gratitude and affection."-Yolanda Gampel, Ph.D., Professor Dr. in Advanced Psychotherapy, Sackler Medical School, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; training, supervising and past president of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society and Institute; vice-president of the European Federation of Psychoanalysis (2001–2005); representative for Europe in the board of the IPA (2007–2011); recipient, Hayman International Prize and the Mary S. Sigourney Award, 2006

"This book is about passion, truth and kindness. Passion, truth and kindness are present in the relationship between Meltzer and Sousa Monteiro in those twelve years of supervision with one of the most creative, generous and intuitive psychoanalysts in the last years of his life…Much more than a book about a very special supervision, this is an act of love, a tribute to psychoanalysis and to Donald Meltzer. It is very difficult to find words to describe the feeling of thankfulness that overflows from the pages of this captivating book. But I am sure that each new reader will recognize this feeling in his own mind. Thank you very much Donald Meltzer and João Sousa Monteiro."-Dr Renato Trachtenberg, M.D., training and supervising analyst, Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society of Porto Alegre; full Member, Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association and the Psychoanalytic Studies Centre of Porto Alegre.

"This is a historic book. It is so genuine and creative in all its aspects that it certainly has to be published and spread widely for every analyst to have the opportunity to savor it. It is also a work of beauty…The reader will see Meltzer distilling Kleinian, Bionian and Meltzerian concepts naturally blossoming out of the material displayed. One will also find original concepts that for whatever reason did not make it into formal books or articles by Meltzer. Sousa Monteiro finds an original way of making a book that has the reports of thirteen years of analytic sessions, thirteen years of clinical supervisions with Meltzer and many more years of the experience of Meltzer stimulated by the patient and the analyst at work…This is a book of art. For colleagues who have not known him it will be a discovery that might blow them away, as I first was when finding Donald."- Dr Robert Olsener M.D., training and supervising analyst, Seattle Institute of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California; teacher, San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, USA and Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, Germany

"[This book is] a major historical contribution to how the analytic process works. I don't believe such a detailed report of the unfolding analytic supervisory relationship exists, and certainly not regarding the work of Donald Meltzer." Dr. John A Schneider, Ph.D, Personal and Supervising analyst, Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California

"The creativity and clinical acumen of Donald Meltzer have attained almost legendary status…This volume reveals Meltzer’s profound and imaginative clinical thinking…As such, it should be of great interest and value to analysts of all schools. (Readers) will come away with a vivid experience of what it must have been like to work with Meltzer and their thinking and practice will be enriched by his many suggestions and propositions."- Dr Howard Levine, M.D., training and supervising analyst, Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis, founding member, Group for the Study of Psychoanalytic Processes and the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies; North America representative, IPA Board.

"This unusual, even unique volume, is likely to become essential reading for students of Donald Meltzer, and those interested in the creativity necessary for the psychoanalytic treatment of severe disturbance. The author provides a detailed insight into the way Meltzer approached his clinical work. One has the feeling of being in the room with them both. There are countless examples of Meltzer the clinical thinker; one of many struck me – "One can be very meticulous about technique but if you do that you may behave in an inflexible and unkind way. My own preference is that kindness should take precedence over technical rigidity." …Irrespective of one’s clinical orientation, a wealth of insights awaits the reader."-Dr Paul Williams, Ph.D., training and supervising analyst, British Psychoanalytic Society, Joint Editor-in-Chief, IJP 2001-2007

"This excellent book provides a chance to see the evolution of a patient in analysis over a period of many years. [The author] does this in a remarkably sensitive and vivid way. The detailed, verbatim account of this long supervision with Donald Meltzer brings his voice back to those of us who knew him, and reminds us of what we have lost. The text certainly conveys Donald Meltzer’s "voice". I can’t think of any document of a supervision quite like it in the psychoanalytic literature."-Dr Robert Caper, M.D. is Emeritus Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical School; training and supervising analyst, Member of Melanie Klein Trust.

"The author presents us with a rare opportunity to hear Meltzer work in supervision with an analysis over several years. From the very beginning, Meltzer delves into emotional depths, captivating the reader in suspense and fascination. Meltzer's faith in the analytic process and in the unconscious workings of the mind is compelling. Many of his theoretical concepts…come alive in a vivid and clinically useful style. João Sousa Monteiro's sensitivity, analytic depth and openness make this journey through an analysis a profoundly moving experience. We are all enriched by his venture."-Avner Bergstein, training and supervising analyst, Israel Psychoanalysis Society

"The author brings very generously his long experience supervising with Donald Meltzer…he shares with us the wonderful clinical wisdom of Donald Meltzer It is not easy for us psychoanalysts to show our clinical work with our patients because it is a very unique emotional experience, difficult to express in words. [The author] can put down in words his clinical experience with his patient, which is already a very important and enriching experience for us psychoanalysts…We can "see", reading this book, an analyst working and through the supervision’s Meltzer’s very rich clinical conception of psychoanalysis. One comes away from it with a "binocular" vision and a deep appreciation for the author’s generosity."- Dr Lia Pistiner de Cortinas, Ph.D., training and supervising analyst, Argentine Psychoanalytic Association; Professor, post-graduate psychology, University of Buenos Aires

"Meltzer was one of the most creative of the Klenians and to work this long and close with such a creative spirit is a real gift. A good deal of the wisdom that grew in a long life of psychic exploration is transmitted to us, channelled and amplified by Mr. Monteiro…Monteiro masterfully and tenderly guides us through labyrinths that close over us, finding paths and openings that make it more than worthwhile. His contact with Meltzer and work with Sophie adds to the density, richness and light of his own capacity as a guide for us."-Michael Eigen, Ph.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University (adjunct); Senior Member, National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis; former editor, The Psychoanalytic Review; author of twenty-six books

"This extraordinary text has all the attributes to become a didactic textbook for colleagues to get acquainted with the detailed unedited inside story of a psychoanalytic treatment. And should be an encouragement for others to follow the example of this new genre in psychoanalytic writing, one that is borne out of conviction, endurance, commitment, integrity and, as mentioned above, a love for psychoanalysis and a devoted respect for an outstanding teacher. It is a privilege to be a witness of this masterclass in the technical management of a borderline claustrum dweller and the observation of the countertransference experience of being buffeted by a tyrannical reluctant and compulsive part of the patient."-Dr. Alberto Hahn M.D., Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society. He holds clinical seminars, supervises and lectures on Donald Meltzer's thought throughout Europe, and North and Sought America for fifty years.