chapter
24 Pages

tand in g in the

Perhaps in some measure due to Freud's fascination with arche-ology, clinical psychoanalysis has tended to embrace an image of two people on a "quest"— a journey to reach an unknown destination to recover a buried past. Despite the fact that I rather like the image, in my day-to-day work as a practicing therapist, I seem to find my reality shaped more by Gertrude Stein than by Indiana Jones. Stein (1937, p. 298) commented about the nature of life and the pursuit of goals, that when you finally get there, "there is no there there." My patients frequently make the same comment. The direct experience of "self change" seems to be gobbled up by the reality of "who you are" at a given moment, and evades the linear experience of beginning, middle, and end. But linear time does indeed have a presence of its

1. Earlier drafts of this essay were presented in October 1995 at the "Fifth Annual Symposium" of the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis, Cambridge, MA; in March 1996 [with discussant Dr. Edward Corrigan] at the "Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Gala" of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, NYC; and in April 1996 [with discussant Dr. Adrienne Harris] at the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Institute, NYC. The chapter in its present version was published originally in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 1996, 32:509-535.