29 Chapters
Medium 9781780491240

Chapter Two - Melanie Klein's Creative Writing Revealing Themes in her Life and Theorising

Kavaler-Adler, Susan Karnac Books ePub

Through Grosskurth's (1986) research, we can see in Klein's own creative writing (produced after her mother's death) that the psychic themes, which were just outlined, manifest in a symbolic form. Grosskurth's conjectures follow, as do my own. Having constructed a psychic demon, Melanie Klein was most particularly in need of a psychic muse, a figure upon which to cast her fantasy mother ideal in conjunction with her yearned fantasy father, someone who might finally offer her erotic gratification, as well as inspiration for her creative writing. Klein's stories show the inspiration for her creative writing; they show both her need and her search. They also portray the binding guilt that imprisons her. It is such guilt that (when kept unconscious) kept her externally imprisoned in a detached and failing marriage, as well as internally imprisoned within a closed internal psychic system. In this closed psychic system, one that can be described by Fairbairn's (1952) theory of an anti-libidinal ego system in which self-sabotaging identifications dominate the whole personality, Klein is haunted by her mother's disowned parts. When Klein does finally burst (rather than evolve) out of her shell, her voice emerges in poetry, following her earlier prose stories with their stream of consciousness orientation (at the time of James Joyce). The denouement forecast in her short stories results in the demon-lover complex (see Kavaler-Adler, 1985–2013) that manifests in both literary and life themes of seduction and abandonment. Such themes harken back to both unresolved oedipal disappointment and to pre-oedipal entrapment, the latter being related to a mother who perhaps could not connect with her unless Melanie served as her self-extension or self-object. Such a father–mother figure is now seen as a lover, at the end of the symbiotic/oedipal “affair”, precluding a relationship of two individuated selves.

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Medium 9781780491172

Chapter Five - Facing the Ghost of Failures in Mothering. Regret Evolving into Love and Play: The Case of Anastasia, Part I

Kavaler-Adler, Susan Karnac Books ePub

CHAPTER FIVE

Facing the ghost of failures in mothering. Regret evolving into love and play: the case of Anastasia, Part I

In the course of an analysis, profound psychic transformations evolve as psychic regret is consciously confronted. This involves the opening up of depressive position capacities for viewing things increasingly from another's subjective perspective, for differentiating that perspective from one's own, and for facing one's insatiable hungers, referred to as “greed” by Klein (1957). The case to be offered illustrates how psychic regret made conscious can lead to growth in self-agency and self-reflection, to an awareness of yearnings for intimacy, to an awareness of psychic and interpersonal space, as well as to the awareness of the phenomenal aliveness in “just being together”. Other insights into an awareness of one's own needs and motivations arising through regret involve awareness of one's own grandiosity, and of one's sense of missing something within that is revealed to be an early connection with the primal other: the pre-Oedipal mother. Cognitive capacities for differentiation are enlarged as self-reflection is expanded through the grief-laden insights that come with regret. In this way, defensive distancing from both internal and external object relations connections can be retraced to the past in terms of a repetition of early disruption in object relations bonding with the mother. The past and present can be sorted out. There is also a new growth in a capacity for containment of instinctual impulses, as well as for compassion for the other, and a sustaining of a more full whole object capacity to love.

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CHAPTER TWO Melanie Klein’s creative writing revealing themes in her life and theorising

Kavaler-Adler, Susan Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER TWO

Melanie Klein’s creative writing revealing themes in her life and theorising

hrough Grosskurth’s (1986) research, we can see in Klein’s own creative writing (produced after her mother’s death) that the psychic themes, which were just outlined, manifest in a symbolic form. Grosskurth’s conjectures follow, as do my own.

Having constructed a psychic demon, Melanie Klein was most particularly in need of a psychic muse, a figure upon which to cast her fantasy mother ideal in conjunction with her yearned fantasy father, someone who might finally offer her erotic gratification, as well as inspiration for her creative writing. Klein’s stories show the inspiration for her creative writing; they show both her need and her search.

They also portray the binding guilt that imprisons her. It is such guilt that (when kept unconscious) kept her externally imprisoned in a detached and failing marriage, as well as internally imprisoned within a closed internal psychic system. In this closed psychic system, one that can be described by Fairbairn’s (1952) theory of an anti-libidinal ego system in which self-sabotaging identifications dominate the whole personality, Klein is haunted by her mother’s disowned parts.

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CHAPTER SEVEN Dynamics of transitional space: pathological foreclosure vs. expansion in clinical treatment

Kavaler-Adler, Susan Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER SEVEN

Dynamics of transitional space: pathological foreclosure vs. expansion in clinical treatment

n this chapter, a psychobiographical example is given to illustrate how the Winnicottian dimension of transitional space, which corresponds to the internal world’s psychic space, becomes foreclosed in those who are arrested with severe character pathology, without the intervention of object relations psychoanalytic treatment.

Then, several clinical vignettes are offered to illustrate the contrast of how two patients who underwent an in-depth “developmental mourning” process in object relations psychoanalytic treatment were able to open up the transitional space in their lives, corresponding with the internal psychic space in their intrapsychic life.

The psychobiographical example pertains to the lives I have studied in my former books. In The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes

Frenzy to Love and Creativity (1996), I have an extensive study of the life of Virginia Woolf. In this chapter, which was published earlier in my newly edited The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon

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CHAPTER NINE Narcissistic mirroring as perversion of developmental mourning

Kavaler-Adler, Susan Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER NINE

Narcissistic mirroring as perversion of developmental mourning

Impingement vs. recognition arcissistic parents can pervert developmentally facilitating mirroring into an impinging mode of mirroring, “impinging” being a Winnicottian term. This impinging narcissistic mirroring demands the contrived and “reactive” false-self performance from the child (Winnicott, 1971b). Where the mirroring face of the mother allows for the child’s recognition of his inner emotional and self-state, the mirroring of a narcissistic parent reflects back recognition only for the performing behaviour that pleases the parent’s narcissistic view. This is not Winnicott’s depressed mother who mirrors back her own lousy mood, but the more omnipotent type of mother Winnicott referred to in his writings. And, although Winnicott did not deal with the father, the father has a primal (even if only secondary) effect on development (Kavaler-Adler, 1985, 1986). It is often the father who provides a form of narcissistic mirroring that encourages the child’s defensive compensation for earlier psychological lacks, wounds, or deprivations with the mother.

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