30 Slices
Medium 9781855758520

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: The cycle and the spiral during the re-symbolizing phase: the erotic transference, the extraordinary countertransference, and the preservation of the analytic process: session

Norbert Freedman Karnac Books ePub

Norbert Freedman and Rhonda Ward

Session 257 represents a stellar moment in this specimen of working through. It is an unambiguous symbolizing hour, marking a return to symbolization and the completion of the transformation cycle. But it is more than this, for it not only contains the highest level of symbolization in this cycle (as reflected in the peaking of referential activity measures), but it also contains the highest levels of non-integration (as reflected in low measures of interactional synchrony). Thus, this session not only completes the cycle but in its peaks and troughs has the properties of a spiral.

Furthermore, this session contains within its structure all the phases of this transformation cycle, that is, a phase of symbolization, desymbolization, and re-symbolization. In the broadest sense, this replication allows us to translate and revisit the specific way-stations encountered in this specimen. The symbolizing phase of this session reveals paradoxically a downward slope and with it the induction of regression reverberating in the transference (Chapter Fourteen); patient-induced and analyst-induced enactments, resulting in a moment of mutual enactment, reflect a peak of desymbolization and paradoxically initiate the upward slope (Chapter Sixteen); and finally, a nodal moment at the end of the session results in a reversal and a return to symbolization (Chapter Fifteen).

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855758520

CHAPTER TWELVE: A very broad concept seen through a very narrow lens

Norbert Freedman Karnac Books ePub

Norbert Freedman and Rhonda Ward

What we are about to explore is a very broad concept seen through a very narrow lens. The concept is working through and the lens is a specimen from a recorded psychoanalysis. The concept has evolved over decades of psychoanalytic experience and clinically can cover years of analytic work. The lens comprises 25 sessions from the third year of a four-times-a-week psychoanalysis. The concept gets at the very heart of the efficacy of psychoanalytic work, but the lens, hopefully, pinpoints those ingredients that matter. One of those ingredients we have discovered and believe is essential to working through is termed the nodal moment.

In the course of this specimen, the repeated theme of torture can be heard. Torture is desired, feared, dreaded, confronted, imagined, reflected upon, and resolved through contrition. For Ms Y, the patient, torture appears within the context of an anticipated inner storm, a theme running like a red thread throughout the specimen, representing an effort towards transformation.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855758650

Chapter Eight: Ferenczi's concepts of identification with the aggressor and play as foundational processes in the analytic relationship

Andrew B Druck Karnac Books ePub

Jay Frankel

I understand clinical psychoanalysis as a process of symbolizing experiences that have thus far been too imbued with fear or anxiety to allow them to be thought about. Symbolizing these experiences allows them to be held in mind, considered, tested against ongoing reality, placed into some realistic and workable perspective, and integrated into the personality. As this happens, new patterns of thinking, feeling, and perceiving can emerge. Given the right conditions, symbolization is a natural activity of the ego. Thus, the clinical challenge of psychoanalysis is to create conditions that allow the symbolization of excluded experience to occur.

Such conditions, designed to invite the patient's experience into the analytic space in a vivid way, include a situation that does not impinge very much on the patient's experience and that offers an unusual degree of freedom of expression of thoughts and feelings by the patient, and an analyst who can be felt to be essentially benign, dependable, and emotionally resonant.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855758520

CHAPTER SIX: The Propositional Method for the study of psychoanalytic concepts

Norbert Freedman Karnac Books ePub

Marvin Hurvich and Norbert Freedman

The Propositional Method to be described in this chapter is being presented as a way of generating another kind of evidence for the study of psychoanalytic concepts. Propositions become vehicles for framing this other kind of evidence, for facilitating new clinical observations, and for offering a structure for comparative psychoanalysis. It is both propositional and generative.

The Method to be described is a procedure to highlight the key features of psychoanalytic concepts, through a reliance on clinical observations and clinical generalizations, and an effort to decrease metapsychological language and formulations. It is intended to facilitate a systematic study of psychoanalytic concepts, and their application to the psychoanalytic process.

Concepts are not only elastic, changing over time, but they are also sources of controversy and conflict. They are statements evoking concordance, spelling out what we are thinking, doing, and inferring clinically, and they are sources of discordance. What we look for is a method that offers a genome that can encapsulate both the commonality and the diversity of thought, and then distil it so that it becomes available for analysis within a single frame. With the method in hand, we hope to find a coherent path towards confirmation or disconfirmation, thus enhancing coherence without succumbing to the search for universals.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855758650

Chapter Nine: Cultivating meaning space: Freudian and neo-Kleinian conceptions of therapeutic action

Andrew B Druck Karnac Books ePub

Neal Vorus

This chapter attempts to address the following question: how does change take place in psychoanalysis, from a contemporary Freudian perspective?

One might think that the answer to such a central question would be rather obvious. In fact, it is remarkably complex and difficult, and likely to be answered in different ways depending on whom you ask. Possible answers include: “making the unconscious conscious;” “learning to self-reflect;” “integrating split-off aspects of personality;” “achieving personalization of self;” “internalizing a good object;” etc. One explanation of the proliferation of these ideas is that it simply reflects the range of pathology that one meets in clinical practice; different patients need different cures. No doubt there is truth to this; it would be remarkably reductionist, and counter to honest clinical experience, to assume that everyone uses treatment in the same way in order to achieve the same results.

However, there is a second factor that this chapter aims to address, and that is the longstanding bifurcation between insight and relationship as curative factors. While there has not always been a contentious divide between these factors in psychoanalysis (see Friedman, 1978b), for the past 50 years or so this has been perhaps the most politicized of therapeutic issues. In this chapter I will briefly review the history of this theoretical divide, then suggest that a path towards common ground on the issue lies in the recent rapprochement between contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought, particularly as represented in the writings of Ron Britton. Towards the end of the chapter I will present a clinical example to illustrate an application of a contemporary Freudian approach, informed by neo-Kleinian perspectives.

See All Chapters

See All Slices