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Medium 9781855759367

CHAPTER TEN: Will and attention

Slice ePub May 23, 2014

Until fairly recently, it was taken for granted that if people knew what they should do, they would do it and that if they were negligent in their duties, they should make an effort and mend their ways. Will-power and duty were part of the natural order as, of course, were “weakness” and “disobedience”. There were simple alternatives: either what you should do was attractive so that you did it quite naturally effortlessly, or you had to make an effort, which you might do gladly or not. These ways of thinking were still very much alive a hundred years ago: it is interesting how much reference is made to them in the novels and essays of that time, and how little as the century wore on. Few case-descriptions in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, or the British Journal of Psychotherapy or the counselling journals, make reference to will-power, self-command, self-control—control by means of ego-processes—exertions that had previously been thought to enable us to do the right things and avoid what is pointless or counter-productive or damaging to happiness or just plain wrong. In the ten years 1987-1997 there was no reference to WILL in the index of the International Journal and only one to ATTENTION, under “divided attention” (a concept used by Freud to explain how we can, for instance, concentrate so on how we are reading a passage aloud that we can lose the sense of what we are reading—Rizzuto, 1990, p. 264, referring to Freud, 1891).

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Medium 9781847776273

To Brian Higgins on First Reading Notes While Travelling

Source: Collected Poems
Slice ePub April 30, 2015

I could not understand your book

Although I had read some poems before,

So I tried holding it upside down

And read it sitting on the floor.

This worked marvellously, at first

I received several bizarre impressions.

It was a good laugh, and that is something

For a man in my position.

Then I noticed that while I was reading

You were working on the floor below.

If that is his game, I said to myself,

I’m damned if I will follow!

So I turned the book the right way up

And read it by the light of reason.

Damn this fellow, I said,

Who thinks he can live under his own legislation!

Damn that for a cock-eyed idea

– Doing away with civil servants!

Someone has to hold up the post

For Brian Higgins to lean upon.

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Medium 9781741797022

Baixa to Santa Catarina

Slice ePub May 28, 2014

A stroll through nautical-flavoured Belém, with its broad river views and exuberant Manueline architecture, catapults you back to Portugal’s golden Age of Discovery – the 15th and 16th centuries, when explorers like Vasco da Gama and Henry the Navigator set sail for lands rich in gold and spices aboard mighty caravels, and Portugal was but a drop in King Manuel I’s colonial ocean.

Start Praça do Império; 15, 28

Finish Torre de Belém; 15, 28

Length 2.5km; 1½ hours

Start or end your walk sweetly with a break at the Antiga Confeitaria de Belém ( Click here ), a beautifully tiled patisserie that has been baking Lisbon’s best pastéis de Belém, custard tarts served hot from the oven with a sprinkling of cinnamon, since 1837.

Even blasé locals never tire of the uplifting view of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Click here ) and Rio Tejo from this stately plaza, set around a fountain and fringed by box hedges. Note Age of Discovery symbols, such as anchors and the cross of the Military Order, featured in flowers and foliage.

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Medium 9781855758988

10: Interpretation

Slice ePub May 22, 2014

From the beginning, interpretation has been central to psychoanalysis. For Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud, and Melanie Klein the analytic model was about analysing, and you analysed by interpreting to the person what was behind his or her behaviour. This early and rather crude view of interpretation has been refined over the years. The refinement has led to many different schools of thought as to how interpretation should be used in the therapeutic encounter. These differences involve the questions of what, how much, and when an interpretation should be given.

Before exploring these questions, it is important to understand why interpretation is central to analytic technique. In discussing its development, it can be shown how this centrality has inhibited the growth of more age-appropriate ways of working analytically with children.


In his earliest formulations, Freud believed that the patient's disturbed behaviour was the result of a traumatic event that was hidden from conscious awareness. The memory of this trauma was split off from consciousness, but the unreleased affect associated with it remained festering in the psychic system. The function of the physician was to lance this psychic sore by analysing the person's history, in an effort to reveal and release the hidden trauma. He also discovered that the patient's dreams were especially ripe for revealing these hidden events or desires.

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Medium 9781782201434

Chapter Three: Cleaving together: Developmental Processes in Twins

Slice ePub May 25, 2014

It was from out the rind of one apple tasted, that the knowledge of good and evil, as Two Twins cleaving together, leaped forth into the world.

(Areopagitica, Milton, 1644: 13)

To cleave:

1. to split, chop, break or come apart, especially along a line of cleavage.

2. to stick fast, adhere.

(Concise Oxford Dictionary)

The intra- and inter-psychic twinning processes described in Chapters 1 and 2 play a prominent and distinctive role in the development of actual twins. While pathological development in twins is not necessarily attributable to the twinship per se (Shorr, 1965), the relationship between twins does have a profound and enduring effect on the development of a sense of self in each twin. The presence of a twin, whether MZ or DZ, same or opposite sex, offers the opportunity for twinning phantasies to become concretized and this may become a permanent feature in the personalities of the twins. Both the intense closeness of twins and the sometimes vehement insistence on their separateness indicates the difficulties that they may face in establishing individuality.

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