Impediments to the marriage of two minds

Fiona Ross, author of Perversion: a Jungian Approach, presents the unthought and unanswered transferential questions posed when an analyst's unconscious encounters a patient with a perverse psychic structure.

Analyst: Can I work with you? [1]

Patient: You will think so. You will feel you are getting to know me. You may even imagine you are the perfect analyst for me but that’s the me who charms the birds from the trees [2], even birds of prey like yourself. Eat only what I feed you. [3]

Analyst: How do I establish some sense of us in a working partnership? [4]

Patient: Well, I might let you think you have seduced me into a special relationship. [5] To my detriment I can pluck plenty of those from my internal referential field. [6]

Analyst: I cannot understand or trust you in the here and now. [7]It’s as if you are playing a game. [8] Should I shift to a metaphorical interpretation? I’ll try...

Patient: You can throw that fish back into the water. [9]

Analyst: How deep is your resistance? [10]

Patient: It’s not going to get at me. I’m well equipped to deal with its intrusion. [11] I’ve got everything I need to bash it back up its own orifice. [12] Here we go again. [13]

Analyst: You see me like everyone else in your life, trying to catch you unawares, snatching what I can from you like a thief in the night. [14] What can I offer to a misanthrope?

Patient: You thought you’d have me for breakfast but I think I’ve got you skewered. [15]


[1] Anxiety about perverse symptomatology.

[2] False persona.

[3] Splitting.

[4] Therapeutic alliance.

[5] Trickster.

[6] Dominant / submissive dyad.

[7] Deception.

[8] Dissociation.

[9] Projected aggression.

[10] Archetypal defences.

[11] Defensive authority.

[12] Regression to use of technical intelligence.

[13] Repetition compulsion.

[14] Kleptocratic world view.

[15] Depressive triumph of pyrrhic victory.

Fiona Ross
Author of Perversion: a Jungian Approach.