Dear Jessica! How I wish to join you at the March Workshop! My thoughts and feelings are with you and I hope you have much fun and heavy discussions in San Francisco. Please tell all people of the research group my best wishes and greetings.
What troubles my about taking some patients both to private and group sessions: It might be OK with a special patient - But: What about the feelings, thougts and fantasies of the other members of the group? They might realize or assume that I treat "my" patient differently. For example, they may feel that I would pay more attention to "my" patients than to other group members. Problems of rivalry could emerge. If such fantasies or problems are made explicit you can use them, you can work with them. But what about the untold feelings and fantasies, that might even be unconscious to the patients?
I remember the time when I was a student of clinical psychology. I had some friends that formed a kind of a clan, because they were all treated by the same psychotherapist. Among them were also couples and friends. I think there were some strange things happening there, but nobody really wanted to talk about it. I thought that this therapist must have felt a kind of omnipotent power because he thought that he was able to handle all those things. In fact he couldn't do it, also because much of those processes were very hidden, even to the patients.
I don't like to be rigid and you do know that I am not defending psychoanalytic neutrality - but I have very much respect from those conscious or unconscious fantasies that may influence a therapy.
And one more personal experience: During my analysis, I really hated to meet my analyst outside the therapeutic setting.
And one last personal experience: I once lived together with a friend who got psychotic after a group therapy with her privat therapist. Her therapist did some really ugly things there, so I don't want to generalize, but a very bad taste about this combination is still there.
Wish you all the best for the March Workshop!
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