chapter  8
17 Pages

The triadic intersubjective matrix in supervision

In this chapter we explore the notion of a triadic intersubjective matrix that Miller and I introduced (Brown & Miller, 2002). This phenomenon refers to the unconscious co-creation by the patient, analyst, and supervisor of a resistance against painful affects that permeate the supervisory field. The painful affect is experienced idiosyncratically by each individual and represents each participant’s unique unconscious interpretation of the unidentified emotion that suffuses the field. We found that an open attitude of self-disclosure in the supervisory relationship, though unnecessary in the analytic dyad, was an important key to unlocking the bastion (Baranger & Baranger, 1961-62) or impasse that paralyzed the entire supervisory field. Paraphrasing Cassorla (2005, 2009), this stalemate could be described as non-dreams-for-three, which is characterized by a sense of despair or defeat shared by analysand, supervisor, and analyst. In this situation, supervision may be reduced to default-position “explanations,” such as “the problem is the patient’s resistance,” rather than the supervisor and analyst examining the triadic matrix.