We are talking about different things. Kathy was rejected and largely ignored by her mother. Kathy's father approved of her only when she acted as he wished and made his interests her own. In neither case did Kathy have someone who was interested in HER, someone who would share in her delights and value and appreciate the same things as she. This kind of background could generate the pathogenic belief that she is unworthy of attracting interest and of motivating people to do things for her or because of her. This pathogenic belief would make her very reluctant to reveal herself to others and would tend to keep her on her guard. It would also make her reluctant to enlist others in activities of special interest to her, fearing that they would feel put upon and would become resentful, even if they didn't show it. I am addressing the distinction between the superficial self she developed to please her father and students and teachers at school and her innermost self which arose independently over time and which eventually led Kathy to see herself as being used by her father. By being guarded, I don't necessarily mean obviously guarded. I see her as probably being equally guarded during her "sunshine" times when she seemingly connected to those around her.
I have problems with the portrayal of her first marriage in terms of some sort of "penance system," for one reason, because it assumes more freedom in choosing a mate than Kathy apparently had. She seems to have had little previous experience with men other than her father. Therefore, the only "safe" relationship would be with someone like her father. She did have a very amicable relationship with him for many years, until he changed. Also, Kathy apparently liked the sports and other things she and her father did together. So I fail to see how marrying someone like her father was any sort of penance INITIALLY. Finally, marrying a spouse who is like one's parent of the opposite sex is the most natural course of action--it is in fact what most people do. So, again, I have trouble seeing guilt as necessarily being the reason Kathy did what almost everyone else does.
One possible way of looking at the facts of Kathy's first marriage, given the reported information, is that Kathy initially accepted the limitations of the kind of relationship she had with her father to gain the "big family" she missed. She subsequently grew as a person, which led her to refuse to continue confining her life to all of the restrictions her husband imposed. Her husband's unreasonableness and refusal to grow with her created friction, which led to their divorce.
I think this scenario is possibly more correct than a hypothetical penance system, and that a discussion of her first marriage in such terms--including the pathogenic belief mentioned above--could possibly have benefited Kathy more. I understand that the "penance system" was postulated to explain more than just this, but I also take issue with its application in the other areas (I will make those arguments at another time).
Kathy was about to marry again when therapy began. A discussion of how the pathogenic belief operated in her former marriage and of the growth issues involved in her divorce could have provided Kathy with a "reality-check," a chance to assess whether the present lover was interested enough in her to grow in the same directions as she. How could the pathogenic belief have participated in her marriage? The belief would lead her to be secretive about her innermost desires. At the same time, however, she would wish to be loved for the person she is. This sets up a very difficult situation for a spouse, who must guess what Kathy's secrets are and how she wants them addressed. A spouse who doesn't know that there are secrets to find can lead Kathy believe he doesn't know her, and therefore couldn't possibly love her for the person she is. At this point, she starts feeling used. What I am saying is that her pathogenic belief can lead Kathy to challenge her spouse with tests few men could pass, and that it would be helpful for her to know about this situation.
Although I believe that guilt played an important part in Kathy's case, I view the postulated guilt-driven penance system that is prominent in Kathy's case history to be reminiscent of Freud's fallacious circular language whereby sexuality was visualized as being behind virtually everything a person did, said, thought, and felt. CMT's substitution of guilt for sexuality does not correct Freud's mistake, I feel. I believe, therefore, that this vestige of Freudian thinking is something that CMT can gainfully do without.
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