chapter  3
18 Pages

Creating Inner Space: The Psychoanalytic Writer

Karen opened our supervisory session by asking me if I thought she was developed enough as a psychoanalyst to try her hand at writing. Her work with a very difficult and unusual patient had stimulated a number of ideas that she wanted to express and she thought her perspective might be a new and interesting one; I agreed, and we began discussing her ideas in depth. Karen left the session feeling hopeful, planning to begin writing that very weekend. But when she came in the following week, Karen was utterly deflated. On her own, facing the blank computer screen, she had become intensely anxious and unable to proceed. With sudden clarity and utter certainty, Karen realized that her voice was inarticulate, “old hat,” insufficiently incisive. Karen felt humiliated by the naiveté that had led her to think of writing. She had a chilling image of the amusement, derision-even wrathof certain senior analysts as they read her paper. How dare she tread where senior psychoanalysts dwelled? Even before beginning, Karen gave up.