This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- Polonius speaking to his son, Laertes. Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 78-80
Psychoanalysis has been called “The Impossible Profession”. Whereas at times I might agree with that, more often I would say, with Bion, that psychoanalysis focuses on what is not known. Since what is not known is most things, psychoanalysis is a humbling profession that requires a lot of curiosity. My thirty-five years in the field of psychology and psychoanalysis has made me even more curious than I was when I began. I believe that we can only learn if we stay open to not knowing our patients and ourselves. At the same time, we have to have the courage to say what we think and feel. Only then can we get feedback that helps us continue to grow. It is not possible to “know", it is only possible to keep on searching. In doing so we can move away from our own narcissism into a world that is increasing complex and unknowable – the inner worlds of ourselves and our patients and the outer world in which those inner worlds are reflected.
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