Deciphering Motivation in Psychotherapy by David Mark Allen

By David Mark Allen

I have usually acknowledged to scholars that I felt that the most very important features of a psychotherapist is the power to tolerate ambiguity. As Allen so aptly issues out during this artistic and helpful booklet, my observa­ tion comprises an implicit assumption that calls for a transparent assertion to ensure that it to be understood. ahead of ambiguity might be tolerated, it has to be well-known. The psychotherapist who accepts the shows of the pa­ tient at face price is rarely confronted with the tricky challenge of enduring the anomaly that's so intrinsic to the situations that deliver many folks to remedy. during this quantity, Allen has undertaken the duty of aiding the reader to acknowledge ambiguity in all of its manifestations, to appreciate it higher, and, having understood it, to assist the sufferer to develop past it. Ambiguity, in Allen's view, arises from a dialectical clash, if it is among the self and the process, intrapsychic and completely in the self, or social, whilst the person is tom among competing reference teams. Psychotherapy is a procedure during which the dialectic might be dropped at recognition in order that a synthesis may be accomplished. The dialectic that engages the person, and sometimes is performed out among the person and the method, parallels the fight among attachment and individuation.

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What I will be arguing for in the remainder of this book is the proposition that the intrinsic ambiguity of language is both a reflection of, and a way of expressing, the basic duality or dialectic of the self as a unique entity and as an intrinsic part of social systems. The dialectic itself is an archetype, and, as such, would be a necessary part of the universal grammar. Jung states that language always has a "synnomic or dual reference; its meaning is both personal and social" Gung, 1959b, p.

This sentence can mean either that he lost his wallet during the act of reclining (reclining as a verb), or that he had lost it at any time previous to that point (reclining as a participle). Such a distinction might normally make no difference at all, but, in other situations, the question of when the man had lost the billfold could be crucial. If I wanted to know where to look for the wallet, then knowing when he had lost it would be most helpful. The metaphorical or symbolic use of words takes lexical ambiguity to a whole new level.

Some other statements are incongruent in almost all social situations. If I say, "I am going to make you independent," do I want you to be independent or do I want you to be under my direction? Individuals will invariably react to such ambiguity, but they do not tend to think of the communication as ambiguous. For instance, if a widowed mother says to her son, "You don't care about me; you never want to come when I desperately need you," it is natural for him to assume that his mother wants him to change his behavior.

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