Challenges faced by the psychoanalyst

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The Monday, July 7, 2008, edition of the New York Times Metro Section led off with Challenges of $600-a-Session Patients by Eric Konisberg.

With our economy teetering, the article nonetheless explores the so-called Age of Riches—Therapists to the Elite. T. Byram Karasu, much mentitoned in our 2000 AMHF book Crucial Choices—Crucial Changes (available at discount from Amazon or from Prometheus), weighs in.

Dr. Karasu, known as an expert in treating the wealthy and powerful, recognized a common pitfall among his peers: Rich people can be seductive.

The article goes on to explore something of a Stockholm syndrome among therapists, who find it difficult “to resist the temptation to sycophantically adopt their point of view.”

Dr. Michael H. Stone, a psychiatrist affiliated with Columbia, notes: “It used to be that my patients were the children of the rich: inheritors, people who suffered from the neglect of jet-setting parents or from the fear that no matter what they did, they would never measure up to their father’s accomplishments. Now I see so many young people—people in their 30s and 40s—who’ve made the money themselves. In my experience, there was a high incidence of depression in the people who were born rich. And by contrast, the people today who are making a fortune, are so often narcissistic in a way that excludes depression.”

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