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New Directions in Psychoanalysis

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Melanie Klein's contribution to psycho-analysis is centered on her exploration into the early stages of the mental development of the child, which she began while a pupil of Karl Abraham. Taking as her starting point Freud's concept of free association, as used in the analysis of adults, she set herself the task of adapting this technique to the psycho-analytic treatment of children. From this was evolved her play technique whereby, though providing a situation in which a child could play "freely", she was able to interpret his play - that is, describe and explain to him the feelings and phantasies that seemed to be expressed within it.By means of this technique, Klein made a most significant contribution to psycho-analysis. Not only she showed that it is possible to achieve therapeutic results more fruitful than those usually achieved with adults; but she was also able to map out in greater detail than had ever before been possible the early stages of mental development.The psycho-analytic picture as illuminated by her work emphasizes two principal stages of normal development, which Klein called "positions". The first, issuing from the infant's unintegrated and violently conflicting attitude to the vital objects of this world, is marked by a persecutory anxiety which may retard or disrupt the integration of the infant's ego. In the second stage the infant begins to apprehend that the gratifying objects he needs and loves are but other aspects of the menacing and frustrating objects he hates. This discovery arouses concern for these objects, and he experiences depression. However, in so far as he can tolerate the depressive position, it gives rise to reparative impulses and a capacity for unselfish concern and protective love. The extent to which he achieves this normal outcome determines the stability of his health or his liability to illness. In Klein's view, two of Freud's great discoveries, the super-ego and the Oedipus complex, have their roots in these early periods of development.This is a milestone in Kleinian psycho-analysis, and includes contributions from among others Joan Riviere and W.R. Bion.

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1. The Psycho-Analytic Play Technique: its history and significance

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MELANIE KLEIN

IN offering a paper mainly concerned with play technique as an H introduction to this book, I have been prompted by the considera-Jl tion that my work both with children and adults, and my contributions to psycho-analytic theory as a whole derive ultimately from the play technique evolved with young children. I do not mean by this that my later work was a direct application of the play technique; but the insight I gained into early development, into unconscious processes, and into the nature of the interpretations by which the unconscious can be approached, has been of far-reaching influence on the work I have done with older children and adults.

I shall, therefore, briefly outline the steps by which my work developed out of the psycho-analytic play technique, but I shall not attempt to give a complete summary of my findings. In 1919, when I started my first case, some psycho-analytic work with children had already been done, particularly by Dr. Hug-Hellmuth.2 However, she did not undertake the psycho-analysis of children under six and, although she used drawings and occasionally play as material, she did not develop this into a specific technique.

 

2. A Contribution to the re-evaluation of the CEdipus Complex —The early stages

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PAULA HEIMANN

FOR the purpose of this paper I have decided to concentrate on the early stages of the GEdipus complex which Melanie Klein has discovered in her analyses of young children. Her contributions also influence the assessment of the later stages, but I think that the most useful way of approaching divergences of opinion lies in discussing the field in which they originate.

Although my presentation seems to emphasize the controversial points in our views on the Œdipus complex, this does not mean tnat we underrate the amount or the significance of the ground we share. Before dealing with my subject matter I wish to define our position with regard to some basic concepts and to outline briefly the period preceding the GEdipus complex.

All understanding of psychological phenomena rests on Freud’s discovery of the dynamic Unconscious. The two primary instincts of life and death, the borderland entities between soma and psyche, from which all instinctual impulses are derived, are the source of mental energy; all mental processes start from an unconscious stage.

 

3. A Psycho-Analytic concept of the origin of Depression

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W. CLIFFORD M. SCOTT

GENERAL interest in the psycho-analytic psychopathology of depression may have been kept in the background for a long time, owing to the rapid development of interest in the psychopathological understanding of the less complex symptoms common in neurosis, such as anxieties, phobias, obsessions, etc. The psychopathology of schizophrenic symptoms where the mechanisms sometimes seemed obvious and apparent, but where psycho-analytic treatment was not then helpful, interested more analysts in the early days than did the psychopathology of manic-depressive symptoms. Nevertheless since 1911, when Abraham first discussed depression, the psycho-analytic psychology of normal sorrow, depression, mourning, and grief, and the psychopathology of abnormal depressions have gradually developed until now concepts have been worked out which are to a considerable degree new and can be stated simply. Such new concepts have been found to be of essential value in psycho-analytic attempts at investigation and therapy of depressed states regardless of the degree of severity, regardless of the sex, and more or less regardless of the age—children as young as two and one-quarter and adults in the sixth decade having been treated.

 

4. Early Anxiety Situations in the analysis of a boy in the Latency Period

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M. GWEN EVANS

Thematerial in this paper, selected to illustrate certain typical anxiety situations arising in early childhood, has been taken from the analysis of a boy, which spread over a number of years. For a number of reasons no case history is given and the relation of the chosen examples to many other important aspects of the analysis cannot be indicated. Environmental factors contributing to the illness are also not dealt with here but entered into the material continually and were analysed.

My main purpose is to demonstrate how such early anxiety situations and the respective defences erected against them are uncovered and dealt with according to the findings and analytic technique of Mclanie Klein. The examples were selected from a mass of material and the interpretations based on more evidence than could be included, the aim being to introduce just enough of the child’s associations to make clear which particul?r type of anxiety was being dealt with at any one point. Such anxieties occur regularly in the analyses of children between eight to ten years of age and are familiar to many of my colleagues.

 

5. The role of Illusion in Symbol Formation

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MARION MILNER

PSYCHO-ANALYTIC CONCEPTS OF THE TWO FUNCTIONS OF THE SYMBOL

MUCH has been written by psycho-analysts on the process by which the infant’s interest is transferred from an original primary object to a secondary one. The process is described as depending upon the identification of the primary object with another that is in reality different from it but emotionally is felt to be the same. Ernest Jones and Melanie Klein in particular, following up Freud’s formulations, write about this transference of interest as being due to conflict with forces forbidding the interest in the original object, as well as to the actual loss of the original object. Jones, in his paper “The Theory of Symbolism” (1916), emphasizes the aspects of this prohibition which are to do with the forces that keep society together as a whole. Melanie Klein, in various papers, describes also the aspect of it which keeps the individual together as a whole; she maintains that it is the fear of our own aggression towards our original objects which makes us so dread their retaliation that we transfer our interest to less attacked and so less frightening substitutes. Jones also describes how the transfer of interest is due, not only to social prohibition and frustration and the wish to escape from the immanent frustrated mouth, penis, vagina, and their retaliating counterparts, but also to the need to endow the external world with something of the self and so make it familiar and understandable.

 

6. Steps in Ego-Integration observed in a Play-Analysis

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LOIS MUNRO

IT is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate the connection between the severe disturbance of emotion and the lack of ego-integration in a boy of three years of age.

By giving a brief account of his history and general behaviour it is intended to show that up to the age of three years, when his analysis began, there was evidence of a profoundly disorganized ego. Material has been selected from the first, third, and eighth months of the analysis to illustrate the contention that the strength and character of his destructive impulses, with their attendant anxieties and defences, had led to a particular state of disorganization. This was responsible for the child’s unawareness of having a self.

By the eighth month of analysis the child had developed considerably both in the sphere of object relationships and of sublimations. I shall describe the steps by which these changes were brought about and seek to demonstrate the mechanism of the underlying process of ego-integration.

HISTORY

 

7. The analysis of a three-year-old mute schizophrenic

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EMILIO RODRIGUÉ

THE present paper is based on the clinical material of a psychotic boy who began treatment when he was just over three years of age. His pronounced withdrawal and the negativistic features of his condition raised special problems, which I should like to outline first, particularly those encountered at the beginning of treatment; I should also like to point out what sources I drew on for assistance in understanding the child’s psychotic behaviour.

The immediate problem was one of communication. The child did not speak, having lost the few words he had once mastered more than a year before treatment began. He did not utter any articulated sound, only an occasional guttural scream. There was, further, an absence of manual or facial expressive behaviour. He remained quite silent and did not try to communicate either by means of sounds or of gestures. Nor did any emotional significance emerge from his way of carrying out such bodily skills as he commanded; walking, unbuttoning his jacket, taking off his cap, for example, were all performed mechanically.

 

8. Notes on the Psycho-Analysis of the Super-Ego Conflict in an acute schizophrenic patient

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HERBERT ROSENFELD

IN analysing a number of acute and chronic schizophrenic patients during the last ten years, I have become increasingly aware of the importance of the super-ego in schizophrenia. In this paper I shall present details of the psycho-analysis of one acute catatonic patient in order to throw some light on the structure of the schizophrenic super-ego and its relation to schizophrenic ego-disturbances. I also wish to discuss the controversy about methods of approach to acute schizophrenic patients.

THE CONTROVERSY CONCERNING THE APPROACH TO SCHIZOPHRENIC PATIENTS BY PSYCHO-ANALYSIS

In discussing the value of the psycho-analytic approach to schizophrenia, we have to remember that psychotherapists with widely different theories and equally different techniques claim success in helping the schizophrenic in the acute states of the disease. The attempt to concentrate on producing a quick therapeutic result in the acute schizophrenic state, irrespective of the method of approach, may be temporarily valuable to the individual patient and gratifying to the therapist; but these “cures” are generally not lasting and the therapists often neglect the importance of continuing the treatment during the chronic mute phase of the disease which follows the acute state.1 The psycho-analytic method can be used for both the acute and the chronic phase of the disease. I have found that when used in the acute phase it can be carried on in the chronic phase without any fundamental change in technique; in fact, the use of the analytic technique in the acute phase prepares and assists the psycho-analytic treatment of the mute phase. The ultimate success of the treatment seems to depend on the handling of the mute phase. But, if a non-analytic method of forcible suggestion or of reassurance is used in the acute phase, psycho-analysis has been found to be exceedingly difficult in the chronic phase and its ultimate success may be prejudiced. Therefore if analysis is to be used at all in the treatment of schizophrenia, it is advisable to start with it in the acute phase.

 

9. Language and the schizophrenic

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W. R. BION

INTRODUCTION

IN this paper I shall discuss the schizophrenic patient’s use of language and the bearing of this on the theory and practice of his analysis. I must make it clear, for the better understanding of what I say, that even where I do not make specific acknowledgment of the fact, Melanie Klein’s work occupies a central position in my view of the psycho-analytic theory of schizophrenia. I assume that the explanation of terms such as “projective identification” and the “paranoid” and “depressive positions” is known through her work.

Freud made numerous references to the bearing of psycho-analysis on psychosis, but for the purpose of introducing my paper I shall refer only to one or two of these. In his 1924 paper on “Neurosis and Psychosis” he gives a simple formula for expressing perhaps the most important genetic difference between neurosis and psychosis, as follows: “Neurosis is the result of a conflict between the ego and its id, whereas psychosis is the analogous outcome of a similar disturbance in the relation between the ego and its environment (outer world).”2 As it stands this statement would appear to equate an endo-psychic conflict with a conflict between the personality and the environment and to open the way to confusion. I do not think it unjust to his views to assume they are more correctly represented by passages in which the dynamics of neurosis and psychosis are uncompromisingly based on the concept of endo-psychic conflict. Yet Freud’s formula does, by pointing to the psychotic patient’s hostility to reality, and conflict with it, help us to grasp one element that determines the nature of the endo-psychic conflict, and I remind you of it for that reason.

 

10. A combination of Defence Mechanisms in Paranoid States

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PAULA HEIMANN

I. INTRODUCTION

PSYCHOPATHOLOGY of everyday life abounds in examples of paranoid delusions. We are all apt to feel at times that it always rains when we have planned to spend a day out of doors, that the bus going in the opposite direction to ours always comes first, that some unfortunate experience we have had was directly due to somebody’s ill-will or at least to fate’s. Usually, however, this type of paranoid delusion is easily corrected. On second thoughts we remember many occasions when the weather was kind, when our bus came immediately, or even when we were particularly lucky; and we know that our unpleasant experiences are not caused by enemies, personal or impersonal, but result from other factors, including our own errors of judgment and other imperfections.

Following this line of thought we come to discern a rising scale of severity in delusional attitudes. There is the momentary reaction— “Damn that fool!” Ascending the scale, there is the mood which may persist for some hours—”I knew everything would go wrong with me to-day, and it has!” Neither of these leads as yet to harmful consequences; both are entirely compatible with sound mental health. Next in severity might be a paranoid state lasting for days or weeks, or more. Finally, there is the psychosis in which the person’s life is totally determined by his belief in a persecution, the delusion having become permanent, and the focus of a rigid system. I am not, however, suggesting that the duration of the paranoid delusion is the only criterion to be considered in assessing the significance of the different types of paranoid delusional states. Another, for example, is its intensity; the degree to which the subject’s feelings and thoughts are absorbed by it or the drive for action it engenders against the supposed persecutor.

 

11. An obsessional mans need to be ”kept”

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BERYL SANDFORD

THE patient about whom I am writing, and whom I will call Mr. A, seemed at the beginning of his analysis four years ago to suffer from practically every known neurotic symptom. And, since he produced analytic material as lavishly as he produced symptoms, I have had some ado to condense this paper to a reasonable length and, at the same time, make it comprehensible.

He is a typical obsessional with marked paranoid and agoraphobic features, and with a neurosis of such long standing that it gives the impression of having become part of his total personality. In this paper I am going to discuss one particular aspect of his case, and that is his need to be “kept”. This does not mean that he cannot work; it means that he cannot work for money.

Mr. A, who is a Clinic patient, comes from a superior working class family, and is now aged forty-one. Before the war he had had three years’ psychotherapy, but this had to be stopped because of the outbreak of war. Mr. A was exempted from all forms of National Service because of his mental illness.

 

12. Three Defences against Inner Persecution

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Examination Anxiety, Depersonalization and Hypochondria

HANS A. THORNER

IN the following paper I describe the reaction of certain patients to an unconscious sense of internal persecution, that is, to the phantasy of being in danger from bad internal objects, representing the patient’s own aggressive urges. Consciously this may be experienced in many ways: as a feeling of inner badness or unworthiness, or, when projected outside, as threats of external danger.

The first part seeks to show that this anxiety reaction is very similar to examination anxiety which I found in a number of the patients. It is evident that the anxiety connected with academic examinations is well suited to represent a fear that one’s evil tendencies (worthlessness), no matter how deeply hidden and denied, will be uncovered and exposed, with consequent ruin.

The second and third sections discuss patients in whom the defence by externalization of an internal danger is complicated by a splitting of the ego, leading to symptoms of depersonalization and feelings of unreality. Connections are made between these sensations and hypochondria.

 

13. On Identification

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MELANIE KLEIN

INTRODUCTION

IN “Mourning and Melancholia”1 Freud showed the intrinsic connection between identification and introjection. His later discovery of the super-ego,2 which he ascribed to the introjection of the father and identification with him, has led to the recognition that identification as a sequel to introjection is part of normal development. Since this discovery, introjection and identification have played a central role in psycho-analytic thought and research. Before starting on the actual topic of this paper, I think it would be helpful to recapitulate my main conclusions on this theme: superego development can be traced back to introjection in the earliest stages of infancy; the primal internalized objects form the basis of complex processes of identification; persecutory anxiety, arising from the experience of birth, is the first form of anxiety, very soon followed by depressive anxiety; introjection and projection operate from the beginning of post-natal life and constantly interact. This interaction both builds up the internal world and shapes the picture of external reality. The inner world consists of objects, first of all the mother, internalized in various aspects and emotional situations. The relationships between these internalized figures, and between them and the ego, tend to be experienced—when persecutory anxiety is dominant—as mainly hostile and dangerous; they are felt to be loving and good when the infant is gratified and happy feelings prevail. This inner world, which can be described in terms of internal relations and happenings, is the product of the infant’s own impulses, emotions, and phantasies. It is of course profoundly influenced by his good and bad experiences from external sources.3 But at the same time the inner world influences his perception of the external world in a way that is no less decisive for his development. The mother, first of all her breast, is the primal object for both the infant’s introjective and projective processes. Love and hatred are from the beginning projected on to her, and concurrently she is internalized with both these contrasting primordial emotions, which underlie the infant’s feeling that a good and a bad mother (breast) exist. The more the mother and her breast are cathected—and the extent of the cathexis depends on a combination of internal and external factors, among which the inherent capacity for love is of utmost importance—the more securely will the internalized good breast, the prototype of good internal objects, be established in the infant’s mind. This in turn influences both the strength and the nature of projections; in particular it determines whether feelings of love or destructive impulses predominate in them.4

 

14. The Unconscious Phantasy of an Inner World reflected in examples from literature

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JOAN RIVIERE

THE inner world which in our unconscious phantasy each of us contains inside ourselves is one of those psycho-analytical concepts that most people find especially difficult to accept or understand. It is a world of figures formed on the pattern of the persons we first loved and hated in life, who also represent aspects of ourselves. The existence even in unconscious phantasy of these inner figures and of their apparently independent activities within us (which can be as real, or more real and actual, to us in unconscious feeling than external events) may seem incredible and incomprehensible; it might therefore perhaps be useful to approach the problem from the opposite end, as it were, that is from the conscious level. My aim in this contribution is essentially to forge a link between certain conscious experiences, which will be familiar to most people, and the proposition that phantasies of our containing other persons inside ourselves, though deeply unconscious, do exist. For this purpose I have selected some relevant passages from literature. Before discussing these, however, I will consider shortly the question why this proposition of internal objects seems so difficult to accept.

 

15. The Inner World in Ibsen s MASTER-BUILDER

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JOAN RIVIERE

IN my paper “The Unconscious Phantasy of an Inner World reflected in Examples from Literature”11 brought together a few -ILinstances from poetry and prose in which a conscious awareness of containing other persons inside them, and of themselves existing in others, is more or less directly acknowledged by the writers. Here I have chosen a different kind of illustration of this theme, one in which conscious awareness of having beings inside one is not quite directly expressed, although it does appear in a special guise; nevertheless the whole meaning and content of the work has this and can have no other significance. It is a play; and the allusions in it to what is happening in the inner world are not occasional and transitory, nor are they elaborately overlaid by a realistic pattern of everyday life. The whole action and even the characters belong so predominantly to the inner world that the entire drama is a representation of that world; and moreover, to such a degree is this so that from the standpoint of external life the story seems to have no apparent motivation, and to some has even appeared ridiculous. The play is Ibsen’s Master-Builder, whose meaning and message remains as mysterious to-day as it was when first performed more than fifty years ago, when nearly all the critics reacted to it with contempt.2 In spite of its insoluble and fantastic story, however, the play has from the beginning had a profound appeal, drawing audiences and moving them by powerful emotional forces in it which yet defy precise definition.

 

16. A Psycho-Analytical approach to Aesthetics

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HANNA SEGAL

“Denn das Schorte ist nichts
als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wit noch gerade ertragen,
und wir bcwundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmaht,
uns zu zerstören”1

IN 1908 Freud wrote: “We laymen have always wondered greatly I —like the cardinal who put the question to Ariosto—how that X strange being, the poet, comes by his material. What makes him able to carry us with him in such a way and to arouse emotions in us of which we thought ourselves perhaps not even capable?”2 And as the science of psycho-analysis developed, repeated attempts were made to answer that question. Freud’s discovery of unconscious phantasy life and of symbolism made it possible to attempt a psychological interpretation of works of art. Many papers have been written since, dealing with the problem of the individual artist and reconstructing his early history from an analysis of his work. The foremost of these is Freud’s book on Leonardo da Vinci. Other papers have dealt with general psychological problems expressed in works of art, showing, for instance, how the latent content of universal infantile anxieties is symbolically expressed in them. Such was Freud’s paper “The Theme of the Three Caskets”,3 Ernest Jones’s “The Conception of the Madonna through the Ear”,4 or Melanie Klein’s “Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in a Work of Art and the Creative Impulse.”5

 

17. Form in Art

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ADRIAN STOKES

I1

I FIND in the clouds to-day the splendid shapes of Tang figures. I turn my back to the fabulous scene, except to the invariable quality of all aesthetic sensation.

Art re-creates experience, projects emotional stress. Much conversation does likewise. Art cannot be distinguished from some other “useless” activities except by what in modern jargon is called Form. If that quality is much in evidence, it may please us to call conversation an art, and we may find that it is practised, consciously or unconsciously, with the predominant aim of achieving Form. Then every part should have a felicitous note as if pervaded with a certain music: conversation becomes an entity, one might feel, an epitome of much that goes beyond it, of much that happens psychically and physically, transformed into “a world of its own”. This metaphor is pertinent so far as the greater physical actuality causes visual art to become representative of all art. (The artist par excellence of popular idiom is the painter.) If this word “entity” is felt to be gross and inappropriate to the nebulosity, perhaps airiness, equivocation, that some works of art are deemed to convey, in that case we can be sure that full aesthetic experience has not been transmitted.

 

18. Psycho-Analysis and Ethics

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R. E. MONEY-KYRLE

1. THE TRANSFER OF AN ETHICAL PROBLEM FROM PHILOSOPHY TO SCIENCE

Philosophers are now divided into two main schools of thought: those who try to ask and answer metaphysical questions, and those who try to show that all metaphysical questions are meaningless.1 But if logic is on the side of the second school, we still need not dismiss all speculative philosophy as a sterile pursuit. The questions it formulated may often have been grammatically meaningless, but those who formulated them were clearly wrestling with some problem which they felt to be important. What was wrong was not that there was no problem, but that there was a failure to formulate it in such a way that an answer would be possible. So the essential difference between science and philosophy would seem to be, not that science deals with significant and philosophy with meaningless problems, but that science deals with those that are clear cut and philosophy with those which have not got beyond the stage of being only dimly felt.2 Many centuries of philosophical endeavour may be required before such questions get beyond this stage, and when they do they cease to be philosophical and are immediately transferred to science. In other words, the task of philosophy is perhaps always a preliminary one: that of formulating new problems for science.

 

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