A Trick of the Light

Unpublished draft psychoanalytic theory paper, 2006

Grant H Brenner

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Photo Credit: Grant H Brenner, NYC Subway, December 2023

Author’s note: I saved this draft in 2006 after completing a writing mentorship with Sandra Beuchler as a mentor. That would make it almost 18 years old, according to algebra.

I am forever grateful to her. She said that I had found my “voice” — that was important to hear. I never tried to publish this paper, A Trick of the Light. The title refers to the way in which the psychoanalytic process, similar to other common and core processes, reminds us that to a signicant extent reality is how you look at it, and what you make of it. I see I managed a classic rock reference, Peter Gabriel — I tend to do this. Needless to say, the influence of my analyst and “lineage” is evident to those within that group, and appreciated with endless gratitude, evidence of the long-term efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy.

In a sense, reality is a perceptual illusion in the illusion of self. There is surely reality in existence, however, and we are a part of that objective reality, regardless of what it is like to reflect upon it from in the inside, as it were. A form of “telonomic matter” — matter which has evolved to have purpose.

A Trick of The Light

As I sit down to write this paper, I’m poised on the brink of finishing analytic training. My intention is to review some of the things I’ve learned, or at least some of the things I’ve found interesting enough that they pop up in my reflections over my four years of training, and to a significant extent, the last 36 years of my life. Maybe this is like a public journal entry in some respects, as it has a confessional feel for me and a deeply personal significance — I feel like I’m putting myself on the line. I hope that some of the ideas I discuss in this paper will be lived out by the reader in the act of reading and trying to find applications in his or her own work, so do not look too hard for clinical case material — I have not included much if any, but I have tried to write about things which will nonetheless capture your interest enough that you will actualize the clinical applications yourself.

The title of this paper is from an old Genesis album, from the Peter Gabriel days, before Phil Collins took over, according to my spontaneous…

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Grant H Brenner

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Disaster Responder, Advocate, Photographer