I understand the notion of exploring the therapist-patient dynamic in and of itself as a possible path to a glass-half-full view of the world. But how in the world can a patient do this if the doctor shares so little of herself?

You use the analogy of the doctor being a guinea pig, but it would be as if a laboratory guinea pig only gave back the test results it wanted to give, instead of the results the investigating scientists need.

Let me put it another way. Why is the assumption made that the transferential feelings of a patient expressed or externalized toward a therapist are in some way of mirror of the patient’s feelings toward early-life objects like parents/siblings, etc.? Parents and siblings self-revealed, in a reciprocal relationship. The patient as a child learned to adapt and shape himself or herself in synch with their emerging understanding of the those objects.

With the analytic relationship, isn’t it more likely that what you’re seeing in the room is how a patient deals with the unknown, and especially with unknown people in positions of power? While there’s some value to that, certainly, it’s a highly artificial situation and relationship that has no parallel in the real world outside maybe the workplace. And while it's nice to know how I might act and project with a new boss, that's not going to help the closest I-Thou relationships in my life. It's like studying tennis as a way to learn basketball. Both are played on a court with a ball, both have points, but the similarities end there.

I would be grateful if you could respond, either here or in a separate blog post. Your blog is always thought-provoking, and I'm glad it's here on PT