102 Chapters
Medium 9781855750302

Lecture Five: Stages of Development

Freud, Anna Karnac Books ePub


Stages of development

I want to start again with some of the questions which have been sent up to me, because they always show us where we have not sufficiently gone over the ground. Most of the questions are very appropriate in an interesting way. They show up the places where, if this were not a course serving partly as an introduction and partly as a survey and summary of the subject matter, one would have to stop and give a separate course. They point to all the chapters that branch off from the main line of thought and which we have no time to discuss. But those of you who want to study the subject of psychoanalysis in detail will find that there are many places where you can stop and remain for a long time, by going to the literature and reading the books which treat the subject in detail.

There was one question which was very justified indeed. I made so much, the questioner says, of the stages of development of the sexual instinct, and I rather glossed over stages of development in the aggressive instinct (if. indeed, I talked about them at all). What about them? Are they comparable in intensity, in distinctness, in sequence, to those of sexuality? Well, one answer to that might be the following: the intensive study of the development of aggression began long after the study of the development of the sexual instinct—perhaps thirty years after it—and our knowledge has not yet reached the same level. This means we know very much less about the stages of development of aggression, or, rather, we tend to view them very much as intimately connected with the sexual levels of development. On each level of infantile sexual development the aggressive instinct appears in a different form, always closely linked with the sexual urges. We do not know whether it takes its cue from them, whether the level of sexuality reached colours the form taken by the aggressive urge or whether it is the other way round, with definite stages of aggression giving a particular character to the levels of sex development. It probably goes both ways, because (as I tried to show you last time) the two are very intimately linked, and in whatever the child does—whether it is an expression in the oral stage or in the anal phase or the phallic phase—we find aggression and sex linked together. We see this, for instance, in the sadism of the child, which is partly an expression of the aggressive instinct—especially in the anal phase—but which is above all an outlet for aggression. So this is a question which awaits detailed study.

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Medium 9781855757592

Part Two: Discussion of “Analysis Terminable and Interminable”

Karnac Books ePub

A New Look at Freud's “Analysis Terminable and Interminable”


It would be difficult to imagine a psychoanalytic experience more stimulating or thought-provoking than rereading Freud's “Analysis Terminable and Interminable” and examining from our current perspective the many important issues it raises. The questions Freud posed then are fundamental to controversies in psychoanalysis to this very day. Some of the answers he proposed seem outdated and patently incorrect, while others are penetratingly perceptive, anticipating major lines of development for psychoanalytic technique.

It should be recalled that, only a few years before he wrote this paper, Freud had revised his concept of the psychic apparatus in a radical way. He had ceased trying to understand mental phenomena from a predominantly topographic point of view in favor of a structural approach, an approach which emphasized the interplay of persistent, organized forces in the mind. Whereas the topographic model stressed the pathogenic significance of what was repressed into the system Ucs, the structural model stressed the role of intrapsychic conflict and compromise formation. Obviously, it was not easy for Freud, at the end of his days, to make a clean and decisive break with a model of conceptualization which for so many years he had found so fruitful. In The Ego and the Id (1923), for example, he stated that henceforth he would be using the terms conscious and unconscious in a purely descriptive, rather than systematic, way. Nevertheless, in An Outline of Psychoanalysis (1940), he reverted to discussions of the characteristics of the systems Ucs, Pcs, and Pcpt-Cs. On reexamining “Analysis Terminable and Interminable.” it is both interesting and instructive to observe how concepts from the two different frames of reference are used side by side, sometimes in a contradictory fashion.

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Medium 9781855752290

2: Psychoanalytic research: where do we disagree?

Rosemary Davies Karnac Books ePub

Robert S. Wallerstein

I invited André Green to provide his brief, but densely packed, evaluation of the psychoanalytic research enterprise as it is currently represented within psychoanalytic ranks, in the expectation—which has been richly rewarded—that he would present persuasively the cogent and proper questions that any effort to apply the canons of empirical science to the highly subjectivistic and unconsciously rooted phenomena of the psychoanalytic situation would inevitably raise in the psychoanalyst imbued with what Green calls “the spirit of psychoanalysis, the specific mental state that inhabits the psychoanalyst during his or her work and thinking” (p. 26). Without trying to define this elusive but vital “spirit”, I think we can all—the avowed psychoanalytic researchers included—resonate to this cri de coeur to preserve intact the fundamental essence of what Freud innovated and bequeathed to us as the most revealing way of comprehending the normal and abnormal workings of the human mind.

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Medium 9781855752290

6: Discussion (I)

Rosemary Davies Karnac Books ePub

Rosine Jozef Perelberg

It is a daunting task to formulate some comments on the work of two leading intellectual figures of our psychoanalytic time, by whom I feel I have, in different ways, been inspired. André Green is one of the most influential thinkers in contemporary psychoanalysis; our thoughts about “the observed infant” have been crystallized by Daniel Stern’s work.

It is indeed staggering to think that Green’s work has not until recently been widely translated into English. When I mentioned to a psychoanalyst attached to the Paris Psycho-Analytical Society that this debate between Green and Stern was taking place, I was surprised when he said that he did not know the work of Daniel Stern. It reminded me of how a visitor to our home after one of my husband’s fieldwork trips to distant places asked us about the music we were playing. In response to our reply he asked: “Who is Mozart?” Within his own culture he was a cultivated man, but this event drew our attention once more to the fact that we can all be ethnocentric and treat our own culture as universal. Whilst the Jesuits attempted to convert the Indians in Brazil so that they could become real human beings, the Indians were drowning the Jesuits to verify whether they had souls. Humanity ceased at the borders of the tribe.

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Medium 9781892746733

“Mourning and Melancholia” Eighty Years Later

Peter Fonagy Karnac Books ePub


Mourning and Melancholia is Freud’s (1917e) first and fundamental contribution to the psychoanalytic understanding of normal and pathological mourning, the psychopathology of major affective disorders, and the psychodynamic determinants of depression. At the same time, it also marks major developments in psychoanalytic theory at large, particularly the early formulations of the concept of the superego, the fundamental nature of identification processes, and the role of aggression in psychopathology. There are several strikingly original and fundamental propositions in the theory of the psychopathology of depression put forth in “Mourning and Melancholia”. These include the central importance of aggression turned against the self when intensely ambivalent object investments are lost; the role of the superego in this self-directed aggression; the split in the self revealed in the superego’s attack on the ego; and the fusion of another part of the self with an internalized object as the victim of that attack.

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