Clinical Work by Dr Charles Ashbach

The work of psychotherapy involves developing an ever-increasing capacity for empathy, connection and intuitive relatedness between the patient and the therapist. The therapy encounter centers upon giving the patient the opportunity to reveal or manifest the deepest layers of the self, both conscious and unconscious, in a way that allows them to be experienced, named, represented and brought into schemes of conscious meaning and relatedness.

The working-through process involves these components as well as the intense states of injury, trauma, grandiosity, sex, love and aggression. The challenge for the therapist is to be able to contain these experiences that are presented as-if the therapist is the actual recipient when the actual “target” of the patient’s longing, desire or destruction is a figure from the past. The process of seeking to bring forward this deeper truth, embedded in the present transference of the therapy relationship, constitutes the great challenge of therapy.

Analytic therapy requires a steady concentration on the multiple states of experience that are the “flesh and blood” of the transference relationship. The mind is filled with manifold processes of both presence and absence and frequently the process requires a great amount of suffering and sorting out to achieve a true and relatively accurate picture of the patient’s actual longing and intentions. The advanced effort of the insight based, dynamic psychotherapist is to develop the capacity to find “objective” signals of the patient’s world inside the “subjective” experience of self and other. Accordingly, counter-transference understanding is a key indicator of what the “actual” subject matter of the treatment is all about.

Workshops in theory and practice seek to provide practitioners with the deeper and broader context within which to carry the crucial burdens of the patient’s inner world. To that end the following programs are offered:

Container and the Contained.

The “stuck” patient and therapist: the painful confusion of the impasse experience.