11 Chapters
Medium 9781855759763

CHAPTER FOUR. Impasse and empathy

Bernardine Bishop Karnac Books ePub

Robert Royston

Introduction

This chapter proposes that there is a level at which analytical meaning is boundaryless and universal, that there is no problem about communication across cultural, gender, lifestyle and political divides, and that in the analytical encounter, if it is operating in a certain mode, chalk can understand cheese with no serious obstruction or problem. It is argued that such communication is achieved through a level of understanding that passes through barriers, making contact with the seemingly un-contactable, and that the mode is empathy. This will be illustrated with reference to work with an abusive patient demonstrating the working of this analytical mode, and if s capacity to transcend difference.

Of course there are surface difficulties. In the consulting room and elsewhere we are told or hear things that are strange to us. What is bush medicine, or obeah? What is Kataze root? Why was a child half blinded by a cricket ball treated with local applications of mother’s milk? Alien practices, alien cultures. An Italian-American film director, interviewed on television told how as a boy in New York he could have become a Mafioso. These were men who were special, respected, rich, connected with other awesomely special men. But the director didn’t try to work for them and the fact he didn’t, he says, means nothing in terms of difference between him and them. He happened to take a different fork in the road.

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CHAPTER FOUR. Therapy by design: style in the therapeutic encounter

Karnac Books ePub

Faye Carey

Introduction

As with art, the point of psychotherapy is change. People make art, or come to it, seeking transformation—within, and without. Psychotherapy as a creative process is often compared with literature, but the comparison extends to the visual arts, too. Further, the similarity of process applies to both therapist and patient. In this chapter I consider some of the transformational or creative characteristics that these two enterprises hold in common for both participants.

In speaking of creativity I have in mind both individual originality and the ordinary inventiveness which I see as fundamental to being alive, as well as the specialized creativity we associate with art. I am looking at what the two practices, art and psychotherapy, may have in common and to this end I am thinking of the session as a creative work in its own right, with the authorship of that work shared between the patient and the therapist, each acting as both artist and audience for one another. I shall start by describing a session which I hope will bring out some of the features of the creative process which I believe these two practices hold in common.

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CHAPTER FIVE. Narcissism, the mystics’ remedy

Karnac Books ePub

Josephine Klein

“Grant, I may not like puddle lie
In a corrupt security,
Where, if a traveller water crave,
He finds it dead, and in a grave;
But as this restless, vocal spring
All day and night doth run, and sing,
And, though here born, yet is acquainted
Elsewhere, and flowing keeps untainted;
So let me all my busy age
In thy free services engage …”

Vaughan, “The Dawning”, 1622-1695

And in this century,

“As for the spirit of poverty, I do not remember any moment when it was not in me, although only to that unfortunately small extent which is compatible with my imperfection. I fell in love with St. Francis of Assisi as soon as I came to know about him. I always believed and hoped that one day Fate would force upon me the condition of vagabond and beggar which he embraced freely. Actually I felt the same way about prison”

Weil, 1950, p. 31

Just now a circular from the Salvation Army comes through the I door to remind us that every Salvation Army Officer, on being I commissioned, promises

for Christ’s sake, to care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovable, and befriend the friendless.

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CHAPTER ONE. The twin in the transference

Bernardine Bishop Karnac Books ePub

Vivienne Lewin

This paper is about twins and twinning, the impact on psychoanalytic work of the existence of an actual twin, and defensive twin-ship. The primary emotional task facing an infant is the development of a sense of self, a personal identity, separate from but connected to mother and father. The task is complicated by the presence of a twin, whether mono- or di-zygotic, same or different sex. The twin-ship is an additional relationship to be dealt with by all members of the family, but most particularly by the twins themselves. They face a unique series of conflicts between remaining enmeshed and separating: a conflict within each individual twin, between the twins, and between them and their parents. The establishment of separateness from a twin is a process requiring parental help that takes place while the twins are working out their relationships with each parent and with the parental couple.

I have worked individually with a number of adult patients who have a twin, and therefore with the implications of twin-ship for the transference relationship. In working with the individual twin, the twin transference must be addressed in addition to the maternal and paternal object relationships, and the relationship to the parental couple as the creative couple. The twin-ship may be used as a defence by the patient and may make working through the oedipal situation more difficult. If the twin in the transference is not recognized and analysed, a fundamental aspect of the personality will remain inadequately known and integrated, and development towards separateness in the analysis will be impeded.

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CHAPTER THREE. The emerging religious dimension of knowing in psychoanalysis

Karnac Books ePub

Steven Mendoza

Introduction

Freud treated religion as an illusory belief system explaining natural phenomena and establishing inhibitors of instinctual drives as a pseudo-moral system-regulating behaviour. Religious experience, as against religious belief and religious observance, he seems to have dismissed as an oceanic, that is manic, process even more divorced than belief from the function of the ego to test reality. Bion, an impeccable scholar of Freud, writes in 1967 as though he expects us to take for granted “experience of God”, “religious awe”, “ineffable experience”. He says, “The psychoanalyst accepts the reality of reverence and awe.” Commenting in 1967 on his earlier paper “Notes on the theory of schizophrenia”, on the complementary senses of memory and desire, he explains:

… There needs to be a recognized formulation which is understood by all psycho-analysts to display the invariants in an event which is unconscious because obscured by memory, although it has happened, and an event which is manifest because disclosed by desire though it has not happened. Memory and desire may be regarded as past and future “senses” (analogous to the mathematical concept of “sense” and applying indifferently to time or space) of the same “thing”. Making use of sense in this way a formulation would have the same value as “memory “, the former referring to an event that had happened and the latter referring to an event that had not happened and therefore not usually described as being “remembered”. A patient who could be described in terms of conversational English as “remembering” something that had not happened would resemble a patient who was described as hallucinated. Conversely the patient who did not remember what had happened, through the operation of or remembered what had not happened, through the operation of the same agency, should likewise be recognized as belonging to the same underlying group of “hallucinosis”.

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