Critique of Current Psychotherapeutic Practice
According to Bergler, neglect of the pre-Oedipal period leads to errors in analysis:
(Curable and Incurable Neurotics, p. 57):
"the ability to see psychic masochism in the patient presupposes that one's own masochism has been thoroughly 'aired' in one's own analysis, and (at least partially) made ineffective. Since in most cases psychic masochism is not given the distinction of being analyzed, the analyist who did not hear of it in his own analysis does not transmit knowledge of it to his patients either."
That being so, Bergler goes on to point out errors made by psychoanalysts in the 5 major areas of analytical work: the transference, resistance, free associations and/or silences, dreams, and working through. Errors in these areas, he says, are further exacerbated by the analyst's neglect of or unfamiliarity with psychic masochism.
Pp. 63-4:"the psychotherapist who takes the superficial defenses at face value, disregarding, or being uninformed of, the masochistic substructure, acts like the detective who falls for false clues planted by the criminal to confuse him and put him on the wrong track... [See our Layers link under Adult.
Much of conventional psychotherapeutic treatment admits of only 3 layers, not 5. This is a serious, extremely counterproductive ommission.]
" ...Without analyzing the basic masochistic substructure the neurotic cannot be changed."