The emotional red thread unfolds in the relationship between the analysand and the analyst. The analysand may or may not be consciously aware of the emotional red thread; the analyst by virtue of his or her training and experience ought to be aware of the vagaries and vicissitudes of the emotional red thread. The analyst should also have the capacity to tune into the emotional red thread of the analysand and the emotional red thread of the relationship between them. The analyst knows about the emotional red thread in terms of transference, counter-transference and co-transference as well as other terms such as the real relationship and the therapeutic alliance.
From the analysand’s perspective, the experience and skills and capacities of the analyst are necessary but not sufficient. It is is even more important for the analyst to be trustworthy, to put the analysand’s interests first, and to be a reliable person when the chips are down. A great analyst in terms of professional position and accomplishments is not necessarily a good enough therapist or an adequate person. For example, see Judd Hirsch portraying Jules Masserman, M.D. in the 1994 made-for-television movie “Betrayal of Trust.”
In an optimal analytic relationship, the analyst creates a temenos or safe and sacred space for the analysis to unfold. In an optimal analytic relationship, the analyst enables the analysand to find his or her own authentic path to wholeness, to individuate. In an optimal analytic relationship, the analysand experiences the analyst as being genuinely interested and open to experience, admitting error when it arises as it inevitably does in a way that facilitates the analysand’s healing and growth. Being good enough is not the same as being perfect. Being perfect, as Jung pointed out, is not the same as being whole.