chapter  11
16 Pages

The Little Engine That Could

WithMary Jo Peebles-Kleiger

Writing about growth and change as a therapist necessitates explaining what views were held about the work, about life, and about oneself before the process of change began. Formally, I was trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and, later, as a psychoanalyst, with some specialized training in family-systems theory, psychoanalytic psychological testing, neuropsychological testing, and hypnosis. I always considered my reactions, my feelings, my limitations, and my personality an inevitable influence on the work. For example, in graduate school, I was taught to get to know my stimulus pull on patients. My supervision processes always included examination of my thoughts and feelings as data in the job of understanding and helping my patients. The idea that patient and therapist mutually affected each other was a given; both from my psychological and my psychotherapeutic training, I understood that the observer is always a participant in what he or she observes (Heisenberg, 1930).