Sexual States of Mind

Views: 1067
Ratings: (0)

A ground-breaking psychoanalytic study on sexuality which maintains its originality today, thirty years after its first publication. The book is a revision of psychoanalytic theory, starting with the work of Freud himself and including Melanie Klein's contributions on the early Oedipus Complex and the Depressive Position. But more than that, it is a metapsychological study of sexuality which provides a different perspective from more well-known ones that relate simply to a descriptive or behavioural point of view. In differentiating adult sexuality from infantile sexuality and polymorphism and perversion, taking unconscious phantasy and the notion of the primal scene as the pivotal point, Meltzer proposes a unified theoretical and clinical model which has proved of particular help in the field of the psychopathology of addictions and perversions.

List price: $25.99

Your Price: $20.79

You Save: 20%

 

10 Slices

Format Buy Remix

Section A: THE THEORY OF PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT

ePub

IN a volume of this sort I can hardly aspire to present a comprehensive picture of what must surely be the most complex problem in science, one to which nearly every branch of science and the humanities may be expected to make some contribution, each unique according to its methods and materials. While interests and training as biologist, doctor and psychiatrist may extend my range, I must yet admit that my only field of special knowledge and wide experience is in psycho-analysis. I wish you to see in the apology a reference to the narrowness of psycho-analysis, its methods and its discoveries.

Since the value of the findings of any scientific discipline can only be judged on the basis of an understanding of its methods and materials, I wish to outline briefly the history of the psycho-analytic method for investigating the workings of the human mind. By differentiating between psycho-analytical discoveries and psychoanalytic theories, one can adopt a reasonable position of judgement as to the validity of what follows under two distinct categories: (a) evaluation of the reliability of the data for the reconstruction of the developmental history of individual patients; (b) critical judgement on the quality of thought which has entered into the construction of theories about child development from these clinical findings.

 

Section B: ON FREUD’S THEORY OF SEXUAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

ePub

THE sources of information at our disposal—published works, letters, biography, society minutes, autobiographies and memoirs— do not, of course, separate out from the life of Freud the particular thread of his investigations of clinical psychopathology nor do the particular papers given in reference lend themselves to classification as “clinical”. Yet this is a very distinct category of Freud’s scientific work and an area of relation and interaction with colleagues. Surely in the period we are studying, embracing the later World War I period and its aftermath, the problems of the organisation, development and preservation of psycho-analysis as a scientific discipline and as a “movement” (whatever that means) occupied—or even overshadowed—much of his thought, as it found its way into print. Particularly the conflicts with Adler and later Jung dominate such papers as “The History of the Psycho-analytic Movement” and the “Wolf-Man” case history.

Jones relates how, to relieve Freud of some of this burden, the “Committee” was formed in 1912, but the disruption of communication during the war, not to mention Freud’s own nationalistic enthusiasm at its start and despair toward its finish, probably prevented this group’s protective mission from realisation.

 

Section A: PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT

ePub

SURELY, it will be said—and rightly—the analytic consulting room, in its heat of infantile intimacy, is not the place to study the social behaviour of adolescents. But it can, through clarification of the internal processes—of motivation and expectation, identification and alienation—throw a special and unparalleled light upon social processes to aid the sociologist, educator, psychiatrist, and all those persons of the adult community whose task it is to preserve the boundaries of the adolescent world and foster the growth and development of those still held within its vortex.

Our times reveal more clearly than other historical periods the truth of the existence of an “adolescent world” as a social structure, the inhabitants of which are the happy-unhappy multitude caught betwixt the “unsettling” of their latency period and the “settling” into adult life, the perimeter of which may not unreasonably be defined, from the descriptive point of view, as the establishment of mating and child rearing. From the metapsychological point of view of psycho-analysis, stripped as it is of social and moral evaluation, this passage from latency to adulthood may be described most forcefully in structural terms, whose social implications this chapter is intended to suggest.

 

Section B: CLINICAL SEXUAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

ePub

MUCH of the task before us in this Chapter has already been done or adumbrated in Chapter 9, but a certain amount of tracing of implications is still required. It is of particular interest that the psycho-analyst seldom hears much about his patient’s adult sexual relationships, since the transference situation draws to it the associations related almost exclusively to the infantile and perverse aspects of sexual behaviour and phantasy currently contaminating the patient’s sexual life. For this reason, adherence to the primary rule ensures a tactful preservation of the privacy of the adult love life of the patient, and therefore the privacy of his partner.

Recognition of this fact relieves the analyst of part of the pressure of certain countertransference anxieties, of intrusiveness and meddling, while also placing him in a position to recognise that dutiful reporting of sexual activities by a patient is almost certainly a breach of the primary rule involving an acting-in, and possibly -out, of the transference, in which the sexual partner is being made to represent an excluded part of the infantile self. The analyst need never worry about the content of information being withheld by the patient regarding his sexual behaviour, since the moment such withholding takes place the content itself is no longer to the point: the behaviour of withholding itself needs to be the focus of investigation.

 

20. Tyranny

ePub

THIS paper has undergone three stages of metamorphosis beginning in 1962 when a conjunction of several experiences—some clinical material, a piece of sculpture, and a jurist’s memoirs—galvanised a paper read to the Imago Group. The second stage was the working out of a concept of terror and dread, which I consider a supplement to Dr Bion’s theory of “nameless dread”. This paper was read at the 1967 Congress and appears above as Chapter 14. The present stage is an amalgam and development which both probes the social context of tyranny on the basis of psycho-analytical findings regarding internal tyranny in the perversion and addictions, but also aims to open the question of the social role of psycho-analysis, analysts and their societies in respect of these social phenomena.

Felix Frankfurter, the American jurist and Supreme Court justice, says in his talks with Harlen Phillips (“Felix Frankfurter Reminisces”, 1960, Reynal), “I do take law very seriously, deeply seriously, because, fragile as reason is and limited as law is as the expression of the institutionalised medium of reason, that is all we have standing between us and the tyranny of mere will and the cruelty of unbridled undisciplined feeling”.

 

21. “Permanent Revolution” of the Generations

ePub

THE restless mind of the young Trotsky* caught a glimpse of the future of the Russian revolution and its predicament, that unless the new system could include as an institution the permanent urge to revolution it would relentlessly metamorphose into the monolithic state and betray its premises. In this paper I wish to demonstrate the sources of this urge to permanent revolution, to distinguish it from the impulse to rebellion, and to show its relation, in psychic reality, to the fact of the discontinuity in the generations and link to the barrier against incest which is fundamental to the human mind.

The basis for this discussion has been laid in the Chapters on “The Emergence from Adolescence” and “The Genesis of the Super-ego-ideal”. But let us start here with the concept, so important in the early days of psycho-analysis and so little mentioned now, the incest barrier or taboo. The latter term betrays the anthropological inspiration to Freud’s thinking and the way in which it was linked in his mind to the evolution of religion on the one hand, and the fate of the oedipus complex on the other. A more intimate understanding of the nature of childhood would incline us now to eliminate sibling relations from the concept of incest and limit it to the prohibition, the internal prohibition, against coitus of parent and child. This forms the background of the oedipus complex, resting as it does on the parent’s refusal of the child’s desire and the actual impotence of the child—the boy’s seminal sterility and the girl’s reproductive incapacity. We recognise the aim of the true genital trends in infantile sexuality to be a reproductive one primarily—to give and receive babies—rather than one of erogenous zone pleasure, as Freud earlier thought. It is the pregenital trends which, thanks to zonal and geographic confusions and distortions of identity due to projective identification, masquerade as genitality and carry the sensuous greed.

 

22. Pedagogic Implications of Structural Psychosexual Theory

ePub

INDIVIDUALS are bound to have opinions on all sorts of matters and it becomes a task of introspection and integrity to distinguish between rationalisation of one’s intuitive preferences and derivation of implications from one’s theoretical convictions. The psychoanalyst’s area of expertise is a very narrow one, namely the conducting of psycho-analytical treatments. But the view of life it affords is such a unique one, and so breath-taking in its vista, so sharp in its detail, than the analyst can easily forget the narrowness of method by which the other qualities are purchased.

Therefore psycho-analysts, even more than other scientists—and perhaps in this way like philosophers—are easily drawn out of their laboratories to sermonise, blinking in the unaccustomed limelight. What they have to say must be taken as compounded of concern, deep wisdom and practical ignorance, even where accurate drawing of implications has not given way to partisan rationalisation of intuition.

What is to follow is the distillation from lectures and related seminars for experienced primary school teachers training for work with malajusted children, given at the invitation of the Institute of Education of London University. The emphasis is on the age groups corresponding to latency (6-10), puberty and early adolescence (11-17), and late adolescence (17-25). In discussing the relation of choice of pedagogic method to psychosexual development, I want to concentrate on several different areas of education:

 

23. The Psychic Reality of Unborn Children

ePub

A YOUNG woman, eight years in mental hospital for manic-depression psychosis, brought two dreams to a session. In the first, she had some difficulty walking because there was a little pocket on the sole of her right foot which contained little sticks.

In the second dream, she had her head thrown back (she stood up to illustrate) and “sick was gushing forth eternally (gesturing with both hands in a way that made it appear that the vomit gushed forth from her mouth and circled in the air to re-enter her body at her genital).

As she rambled on in further description and association to the dream, it became clear that the sticks in the pocket in her sole were arranged like the bones of a little foot, “like phalanges”, “falangists” (laugh). They were like the almond sticks with which she aborted herself the first time (when she was living with a fellow student whom she later married)—”What a bloody mess!” (said with vulgarity and callousness). “Later I thought I could have named him Karl, for Karl Marx.” (The six months fetus was male.) “I was weeping and weeping yesterday and kept saying to myself, ‘Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus’. He’d have been 16 now. It’s no use! Next week is Rosh Hashonah and then Yom Kippur!”

 

24. The Architectonics of Pornography

ePub

WHILE it is always a danger that psycho-analytic definitions may be taken out of context and applied unintelligently for obsessional control in the social sphere, the hazard must be faced if a guide is to be afforded, in the realm of aesthetics, to the artist and the serious scholar and critic for drawing differentiations of a valid and useful sort between the representation of passion in art and literature and its misrepresentation in pornography. This brief paper, one trusts, will be of no use to courts of law, Lords Chamberlain or compilers of one index or another, but may help the artist and his patrons to traverse with lessened anxiety and guilt the scorching borderland.

In my dialogue with Adrian Stokes in ‘Tainting and the Inner World” I have drawn upon discoveries related to psychic structure to emphasise the necessity of recognising the individual and social forces which invade the art world for destructive purposes. I have attempted to reinstate the term “evil” in its juxtaposition to “good” to differentiate this realm of value judgement in aesthetics from the more technical realm of “success” in representation (or “transformation” as Bion has more recently called it) and communication. Such a theoretical structure in aesthetics, based on psycho-analytical concepts of motivation and responsibility, lend themselves to application in the consulting room only, for they are bound up absolutely with the psycho-analytical method for investigation of the mind. But experience in the consulting room should enable us to derive indicators of a structural, rather than descriptive, sort, for our external judgement of works of art as objects—aesthetic objects.

 

Appendix of Central Ideas

ePub

Having dutifully constructed the usual alphabetical index, several considerations have led me to discard it and offer in its place the following index of the central ideas of the book. The more frivolous reservations were that it resembled an auction catalogue, the scavenger’s delight and the author’s nightmare. Furthermore it seemed a meaningless ritual leavened only by comic items such as “Bottom: see Mummy’s”.

The more serious concern was derived from the nature of the book itself, which seems to me to be essentially a reworking of well-established concepts in psycho-analysis into a new organisation of thought and tracing its various implications for psycho-analytical practice and the application of its theories to other fields. But it is also a very personal statement of the way in which I see these well-established theories and use them in the consulting room. It would therefore seem misleading to use purely technical language, hiding the new-wine-in-old-bottles aspect. I have therefore in the text employed quite a lot of colloquial expressions to imply the personal flavour being introduced to the old concepts.

 



Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub (DRM)
Encrypted
true
Sku
9781780494203
Isbn
9781780494203
File size
0 Bytes
Printing
Disabled
Copying
Disabled
Read aloud
No
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata