Selfless self-transcendence in the clinical setting as a source of self-enhancement

Abstract

This paper examines the paradox of Selfless–Self-Transcendence, that is, how the self is enriched through self-renunciation. The article discusses what enables being carried away without forethought into selfless–self-transcendence and how, eventually, these inadvertent surrenders create therapeutic shifts. Using clinical vignettes, we suggest that the selfless move towards patients is part of a latent mutual process, with them, and it enables the restoration of the self to an enriched form. These depictions imply that like the patients, the analysts also encounter themselves in a truer way which allows them to become who they really are, through selflessly transcending themselves

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Correspondence to Bnaya Amid.

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Bnaya Amid, M.A., Consultant Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Jerusalem, Israel. Currently, he is carrying out his doctoral research at the Psychology Department, Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

(The Late) Aron Lewis, Ph.D., psychoanalyst, multipublished author, was the long-term Director of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and Founding President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Dr. Aron passed away on February 28, 2019.

Eytan Bachar, Ph.D., Head Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Hadassah University Medical Center, and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Address Correspondence to: Bnaya Amid, M.A., Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Psychology, Mount-Scopus, Jerusalem, 9190501, Israel.

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Amid, B., Aron, L. & Bachar, E. Selfless self-transcendence in the clinical setting as a source of self-enhancement. Am J Psychoanal 80, 16–36 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-020-09229-z

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Keywords

  • selflessness
  • self-transcendence
  • surrender
  • at-one-ment
  • ‘O’