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5. Archetypes, object-relations and internal objects

Kenneth Lambert Karnac Books ePub

To consider the part played by the analyst’s personality and the significance of the many forms of resistance that emerge in the patient - analyst relationship leads me next to the study of the conditions that make possible the formation of object-relations and internal objects. In analytical psychology this can with profit be related to archetypal theory which, I shall argue, has a special contribution to make to the subject. The practical problem is that of a person being able to link the experienced objects of the personal and non-personal environment on the one hand with the appropriate internal, though objective, processes of the self on the other. There is a gain if this can be done in such a way that their reality in their own right can become a true psychological experience for the subject and hence can be appropriately related to by him because thereby greater objectivity and a fuller and deeper relationship can be attained.

Psychoanalytic theory, through the work of Klein, Fairbairn, Winnicott, Kohut and Kernberg and others has shifted part of its emphasis from the study of instinctual drives and their satisfactions as such to that of the human need to establish relations with other persons in the non-self world: mother, father, siblings, relations, friends and colleagues and so on. The ingredients of this study are centred round topics like the establishment of self-representations and object-representations and damage that can be suffered in the process.

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7. Transference, counter-transference and interpersonal relations

Kenneth Lambert Karnac Books ePub

It is a commonplace today to emphasize the importance of the patient-therapist relationship whether in the realm of medicine or that of the social worker. It is a field in which problems abound, especially in psychotherapy, which, however, is happily and unusually well-advantaged for their observation and study. Some of them are as follows:

(1) The problem of being able to interact with and trust a stranger over the intimate difficulties and sufferings of the psyche in the long term—not that, for some people, enlightening introductions to their psychology may not be effected in a once-only meeting with a stranger. To achieve greater depth, however, the normal problems of unfamiliarity with new persons demand recognition and attention. Neurosis or psychosis apart, these resolve themselves in time into a positive and/or negative attitude as knowledge of and about the new person is acquired.

(2) The problem of distortions of perception, if not indeed of illusion and delusion, which can extend far beyond the normal problems of unfamiliarity and do interfere with the relationship potential that arises between patient and therapist as they seek to experience each other as real persons.

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3. Individuation and the personality of the analyst

Kenneth Lambert Karnac Books ePub

A study of the process of analysis, repair and individuation will almost inevitably focus, as a matter of prime importance, upon a consideration of the quality and function of the analyst’s personality. In history, his forebears are the doctor and the priest, whose actions and personality-functions are defined, for instance, in two classical documents respectively: the Hippocratic Oath and St Paul’s concept of agape. For centuries, this kind of work has been understood to depend upon a certain specificity of personal relationship entered into by the doctor with his patient and the priest with those under his care. That the work is full of possible pitfalls and draws upon profound levels of emotion, being (ontos), and outlook is illustrated by the stringency of requirement and the severity of prohibition imposed by the documents in question. Indeed, any disregard or flouting of them is said to render the work worthless and nugatory, whatever the skill or knowledge involved. Furthermore, the naive public shock aroused by the possible misuse of medical or pastoral power suggests deeply rooted attitudes based upon long-term, and often repeated, experiences of what works best in this field.

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6. Reconstruction

Kenneth Lambert Karnac Books ePub

My description of the basic elements involved in the process of analysis, repair and individuation has so far sketched out topics such as the personality of the analyst, some responses of the patient and particularly those connected with resistance and counter-resistance, and the establishment by the patient of object relationships and internal objects and the dependence of this upon the presence of the therapist under the special conditions of the therapeutic set-up.

Sound object relating, however, involves an appropriate feeling and cognitive response on the part of the subject to the reality of the object in the here and now and at this particular moment of time rather than to an over-subjectivized image of it that has been heavily influenced by the experiences of the past. Such a relatively simple-sounding phrase covers a multitude of analytic problems such as: (1) the tendency of the patient to respond to present situations with a degree of emotional intensity that is grossly and exaggeratedly inappropriate by any objective standard of judgement; (2) a distorted and one-sided characterological development, fixated at some earlier point in his history, and crippling the patient’s handling of the day-to-day problems of adult life; (3) difficulties about living in an appropriate span of “present time”. A patient may be “frightened out of his life” by traumatic experiences in the past and “overwhelmed by anticipatory fears of horror” in the future. As a result he cannot live in the present either. There is little libido available for a real experience of the living moment in a continuum comprised of the immediate past, the present and the proximate future. The experience of time for him loses significance, datability, expansiveness and its public character (Boss, 1979). The result is a hold-up of the growth that arises out of the past or might be inaugurated in the present.

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4. Resistance and counter-resistance

Kenneth Lambert Karnac Books ePub

We have considered some of the qualities of the analyst’s personality that make for successful treatment and suggested what his function mainly is. It seems appropriate now to investigate aspects of the patient’s response, and in this chapter I shall first of all examine this response in terms of the meaning, mode and indeed therapeutic function of his resistance. Equal in significance, though not always recognized as such, are both resistance and counter-resistance phenomena on the part of the analyst.

I therefore propose to cover the following topics in this chapter, In Part One I shall sketch out topics like the paradox and problematic aspects of resistance, together with an etymological note. I shall then trace the history of the concept both in psychoanalysis and in analytical psychology. In Part Two I shall try to cover a number of topics subsumed under the notion of the patient’s resistance to involvement in anything like a personal response to his analyst as a person. This will be considered in terms of primary and secondary resistance and will include a study of envy of the analyst, fear of penetration by and fear of damage by the analyst, together with a note on the therapeutic failure to resolve resistance. In Part Three, I shall describe the phenomenon of resistance on the part of the analyst, to be discussed under five headings: non-neurotic resistance, neurotic resistance, reactive counter-resistance, complementary counter-resistance, and concordant counter-resistance. I shall conclude the chapter by attempting to compress into a short statement the story of the vicissitudes, even revolutions, that have occurred in the history of the struggle of both analysts and patients with the challenging phenomena of resistance and counter-resistance. In doing this I hope that the connection between this subject and that of individuation will be clearly shown.

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