When patients bring up material of a religious or spiritual nature, many analysts find themselves at a loss. There is a tendency in such moments either to reduce the patient’s experience to the most comfortable theoretical denominator or to accept such experiences uncritically. In this paper, the author places “religion” and religious experience in the relational context of formative early experience and argues that relational history is an important contributor to the capacity to have authentic and expansive religious experience. Drawing upon clinical examples and relational psychoanalytic concepts of surrender and the Third, the author suggests ways in which the analyst might interact with the patient’s religious and spiritual experiences by understanding them in terms of surrender and the opening to or foreclosure of thirdness.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call