Therapy of the conscience: Technical recommendations for working on the harsh superego of the patient
An indispensable goal of intensive psychotherapy is to modify areas of the superego which are unreasonably harsh and punitive - yet, surprisingly little is written on this topic. In this paper, after discussing various aspects of the superego, I recommend an active treatment technique which involves educating the patient, over time, about how pervasive and punitive is -for lack of a better word - the conscience - of his or her mind. During this process, one can expect a softening and lessening of the patient's punitive superego and an expansion of the patient's benign or benevolent superego, as the patient begins to identify with and introject more of the compassionate attitudes which have been imparted and experienced in the intimate relationship of psychotherapy.
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