Psychoanalysis: The Nonverbal Exchange
Some patients with early developmental disturbances may not be able to enter an analytic experience at the same level of consensual abstraction and reflection as other patients. Especially those who have not had sufficient self-object experiences to differentiate feelings, or even to desomatize emotion, have difficulty communicating aspects of internal experience
and affect by means of symbolic language. These individuals maintain an external focus, report action and interaction with others, and often begin treatment with an action focus such as missing sessions, complaining of no benefit, threatening to quit, and continuity action symptoms. They may feel lost and vague regarding internal focus, and to the analyst read as resistant. Their experiences of restlessness, ineffectiveness, and boredom are often induced in the analyst by similar frustration of ineffectiveness, even deadness or hollowness of the mutual experience.