chapter  5
“I Have to Destroy Everything I Love”: Totalitarian Conscience—Acted Out and Understood
ByHEIDRUN JAR ASS
Pages 21

When we discussed my contribution to this book, I immediately thought of a patient-I will call him Peter-who has been in psychotherapy with me for 12 years. He had developed quite well during treatment, and I imagined that it would not be too hard to present the therapeutic process. How naïve I was! Only when I started trying to tease out a single strand, a coherent “red thread” in the write-up, did I perceive the challenge. As I reviewed the treatment process through my notes, I saw myself time and again confronted with separate pieces that by themselves looked valuable and meaningful. However, when I wanted to join them into a consistent description of process everything crumbled again into separate, disjointed pieces. Th us the case description became, like the treatment itself, a hard piece of mental work where I had to wrestle continuously to integrate the material.