chapter  8
22 Pages

The Ordinary Tragedies of an Analytic Life

In the previous chapter, I discussed how patients and analysts disappear from each other’s lives. It is not hard to understand these experiences as losses. Here I extend discussion of their cumulative impact and then highlight some more subtle but even more pervasive shortfalls in the analyst’s work life. Loss is woven into the fabric, in many senses. Previously, I wrote about the lapses of hope, faith, and connection that commonly thread their way through sessions (Buechler, 2008, chap. 6). But, even more commonly, some diminishments are built into the very nature of the analytic way. The frame of the relationship, its focus, and its inevitable limitations intimately acquaint us with loss. The ubiquity of these experiences makes them hard to discern, but I have no doubt about their tremendous cumulative impact, at least for me.