The Clinic and the Context: Historical Essays

Views: 671
Ratings: (0)

This book comprises a collection of the distinguished psychoanalyst Elisabeth Young-Bruehl 's papers ranging from 'Psychoanalysis and Social Democracy', 'Civilization and its Dream of Contentment', 'Reflections on Women and Psychoanalysis' and 'Psychobiography and Character Study'. Each essay is of value in its own right, and the collection together will be found to make an important contribution to our understanding of the history of psychoanalysis.

List price: $25.99

Your Price: $20.79

You Save: 20%

 

8 Slices

Format Buy Remix

Chapter One - Why Psychoanalysis has no History

ePub

CHAPTER ONE

Why psychoanalysis has no history*

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl and Murray Schwartz

Introduction

No one who is concerned with psychoanalysis as a theory, a practice, and a cluster of local, regional, and international educational and scientific institutions would dispute that psychoanalysis is, today, in a profound crisis. The most obvious symptom of this crisis is comparable to the symptom most studied by contemporary psychoanalytic investigators of trauma, that is, dissociative fragmentation, loss of identity. There are now many versions of psychoanalytic theory; practitioners with the most diverse sorts of training perform the “talking cure” in the most diverse ways; and many of psychoanalysis's institutions are unable to integrate themselves or operate as communities even after intensely discussing everything about themselves, starting with “What is psychoanalysis?” Psychoanalysis is also in a critical relationship with the diverse societies and cultures worldwide, where its work is performed and where it competes with other mental health specialties for patients, for resources, for scientific status and control of disciplinary boundaries, and for recognition of its particular qualities and appreciation of its illustrious past, when it grew from a marginal, revolutionary theory and treatment into a main source of all modern mental health specialties. As with individual traumatic experiences, working through the dilemmas of contemporary psychoanalysis is a slow and complex process, mixing advances, retreats, and iatrogenic effects as the doctors try self-doctoring and doctoring of their field.

 

Chapter Two - The Trauma of Lost Love in Psychoanalysis

ePub

CHAPTER TWO

The trauma of lost love in psychoanalysis

Most historians agree that in the history of psychoanalysis Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g) marks a juncture, even perhaps the juncture. Until 1920, no one could be a Freudian without subscribing to his libido theory—in its evolving formulation—and to the centrality of the sexual instinctual drive in the aetiology of the neuroses. Non-subscribers left the movement. Adler's and Jung's withdrawals became like traumas that Freud kept trying to master in writing about them. But in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud himself brought into question the defining position of the libido theory. He disagreed with himself, and the disagreements his internal debate provoked among his followers have, to this day, not ceased reverberating. But, because the master's revision was so problematic, and got no less so as he elaborated his new theory in some later works while rejecting it in others, his followers have felt free to disagree without needing to become schismatics. Beyond the Pleasure Principle was more a statement of intense theoretical need than a diktat.

 

Chapter Four - Psychoanalysis and Social Democracy: A Tale of Two Developments

ePub

CHAPTER FOUR

Psychoanalysis and social democracy: a tale of two developments*

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

After World War I, Freudian psychoanalysis was approached by reformers and revolutionaries in the Marxist tradition who hoped to find in its theory and practice a psychological foundation for the future they envisioned. A “Freud-Marx synthesis” was also an ideal for the democratic socialists among the younger psychoanalysts trained by Freud and his first followers. After World War II, a second version of that “Marx-Freud” synthetic ideal began slowly to emerge while both psychoanalysis and socialism were undergoing profound changes. That synthesis powerfully influenced the “social democracies” emergent in Europe and in other parts of the world. But when the European social democracies began to respond in the 1980s to the decline of the Soviet Union and to the rise of globalising capitalism, which brought new immigrant populations to Europe and surges of prejudice against them, the synthetic ideal needed reworking. In particular, psychoanalysis needed to be able to offer the “Freud-Marx synthesis” an updated analysis of aggression and prejudice.

 

Chapter Five - A Brief History of Prejudice Studies

ePub

CHAPTER FIVE

A brief history of prejudice studies

Introduction

To study prejudice scientifically requires first of all, of course, some sense of it as a phenomenon and one in need of study. In the European tradition, we have evidence from the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers of awareness that people are religiously prejudiced because they make their gods in their own images and judge themselves superior to other peoples with other gods, other beliefs. As Xenophanes, forerunner of Parmenides, said around 500 BC: “The Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black, the Thracians that theirs have light blue eyes and red hair.” But this awareness, like later echoes of it in the Mediterranean world influenced by the Greeks, was in the service of an aspiration to a kind of philosophical monotheism—a doctrine of Being—that all superior men should embrace. Although none of the pre-Socratic Greeks ever worshipped a transcendent God, or developed a religion from a transcendent God's revelations, as did the Hebrews led by Abraham, the Christians, and the Muslims, they did criticise people for not being monotheists like themselves and for persisting in their particular customs and beliefs, their pre-judgments (praejudicum is the Latin word for prejudice). But criticising other people's prejudices because they do not conform to one's own superior and purportedly universal vision is not studying them in the scientific sense. Among the Europeans this step came only with the Enlightenment.

 

Chapter Six - Reflections on Women and Psychoanalysis

ePub

CHAPTER SIX

Reflections on women and psychoanalysis

Introduction

I wanted to prepare a historical and clinical text that would bring us to the present tense of “Women and Psychoanalysis”, let us reflect on how we—we in the field of psychoanalysis—have come a long way on this topic, and where we might be going. So I thought about writing a brief history—a “multibiography”—of women psychoanalysts, our foremothers, and comparing their situations with ours. Then I thought about writing a brief history of women in psychoanalysis—-of women as patients—focusing on how women patients now are understood and treated. With these possibilities, I wanted to avoid writing a history of changing views in psychoanalysis of female psychology, as that has been done many times, for many purposes. Not one of you is in need of such a treatise, for you have all taken whole courses on this “changing views” theme at your training institutes, and many of you teach such courses. In fact, one of the key features of the present moment of “Women and Psychoanalysis” is that we are all well aware of the history of changing views in psychoanalysis of female psychology; we are thoroughly historicised.

 

Chapter Seven - Sexual Diversity in Cosmopolitan Perspective

ePub

CHAPTER SEVEN

Sexual diversity in cosmopolitan perspective

The globalisation of sexology and changes in its categories

In the last decade or so, the concept “sexual diversity” has shifted its meaning and compass in the European-American world, where the scientific study of sex—called sexology—began in earnest at the end of the nineteenth century. For most of the twentieth century, lay people and scientists alike subscribed to a model of human sexuality stipulating that human sexuality normally (and normatively) has little diversity in it. There are just two sexes, male and female; two genders, masculine and feminine, with corollary social roles; and two kinds of sexual preference, same-sex and opposite-sex. “Sexual diversity” was roughly equivalent to “sexual pathology” and that meant (above all else) “non-heterosexual preference”.

In the wake of the European-American second wave feminist movement and the gay liberation movement, the scientific study of sex became much more sophisticated and much less governed by prejudices against women and against homosexuals, so both the prejudices themselves and this Noah's Ark two-of-everything paradigm of sexuality could shift. Now, among progressive people around the world, homosexuality can be considered an ordinary, non-pathological type of sexuality; in the movement's political terms it is “different but equal”. The political situation has changed so dramatically that a 2006 petition entitled “For the Universal Decriminalization of Homosexuality” was launched in the hope of getting the United Nations to favour abrogating the anti-gay laws of the seventy-five countries in the world where homosexuality is still a crime.

 

Chapter Eight - Women and Children First!

ePub

CHAPTER EIGHT

Women and children first!

Over the past forty-five years, let us say since 1968, there has been a profound change in the way psychoanalysts, in all schools, have imagined women: who they are, what lines of development are typical of them, what they want, how they live. There has been an effort to leave behind the construction of a representative woman, existing outside any context, any environment, in order to imagine “women” as a collective embracing all women in their diversity, in their diverse contexts.

In psychoanalysis there has also been an effort to avoid understanding women on the model of a representative generic man, existing outside any context, any environment. That is, the idea that a woman is a not-man or a man manqué or a deficient, lacking man has been jettisoned. This change has meant that the representative man has begun to disappear, too, although this process is less advanced because thinking in terms of the generic man is still congruent with prevailing patriarchal cultural norms.

 

Chapter Nine - Psychobiography and Character Study: A Reflection

ePub

CHAPTER NINE

Psychobiography and character study: a reflection


 

Biography as a relational scene

The other day, a patient of mine, who is a psychoanalyst, came in and told me, excitedly, apprehensively, that she had just come from a session with a patient of hers who was furious with me. Her patient had been reading my biography of Anna Freud, and had concluded that I had wilfully concealed Anna Freud's lesbianism. “What do you think?” my patient demanded of me. “Is she right?” When I questioned her question, my patient and I went off in the direction of her attitude towards me at the moment, which was suspicion and fear for the fate of her usual idealisation of me: maybe, she was thinking, I was homophobic and I would reject her for her own lesbianism. The question of Anna Freud's alleged lesbianism receded from our work while we focused on the homophobia my patient feared in me, but my biography remained there, suspended in the matrix of our talk, having an episode in the life it has had since its first appearance back in 1988. Every biography could be a subject of biography. And a biography's life is, also, part of the afterlife of its subject—part of the subject's public self, or publicly created self.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub (DRM)
Encrypted
true
Sku
9781781811788
Isbn
9781781811788
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