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Chapter Twelve: Mirroring, Mirrors, and Proto-Oedipal Constellations

Karnac Books ePub

Maria Rhode

In his paper, “The mirror role of mother and family in child development”, Winnicott described his main aim in doing psychoanalytic work as “giving the patient back what the patient brings” (1971, p. 117). This, he wrote,

is a complex derivative of the [mother's] face that reflects what is there to be seen. I like to think of my work this way, and to think that if I do this well enough the patient will find his or her own self, and will be able to exist and to feel real. Feeling real is more than existing; it is finding a way to exist as oneself, and to relate to objects as oneself, and to have a self into which to retreat for relaxation. (p. 117)

For all the patients whom Winnicott described in this paper, “feeling real” was a central preoccupation. For some of them, so was being able to feel that they existed at all. Winnicott suggested that, in favourable circumstances, the baby might feel “When I look, I am seen, so I exist” (p. 114). This would depend on the mother's capacity to reflect in her facial expression what she feels about the baby, rather than her own preoccupations or defences.1 “In other words, the mother is looking at the baby and what she looks like is related to what she sees there” (p. 112, original italics). On this most primal level, then, we are what we see, and what we see depends on the other's capacity to see us.

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10. Conflicting forces: on the beginning of the treatment

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10

Norberto C. Marucco

Introduction

Our analytic work places us in the role of a very particular kind of researcher who must constantly reflect upon himself, his therapeutic task, the theory he supports, the cultural context in which he thinks and acts, the vicissitudes of the scientific field he belongs to, and the relation the latter has with the rest of scientific disciplines. I personally understand the psychoanalytic method as a proposal of self-knowledge implying the analyst’s will to know his patient and himself, as well as the modes of psychic structuring and functioning, constantly coming and going between the theory and the clinical work. His goal is to search for the truth. This truth will be gradually revealed by patient and analyst alike in sometimes erratic approaches with no guarantees or reassurances, and does not belong to either of them. And all this will happen in the course of a dialogue of desires structured by the transference, a dialogue in which any statement is only temporarily true. I would like to quote here Maud Mannoni (1980):

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9. How to modify the unconscious: a transformational–modular approach and its implications for psychoanalytic psychotherapy

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9

Hugo Bleichmar

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy has evolved since the first works of Freud, influenced by the increasing knowledge contributed by generations of analysts regarding the structure and function of the psyche, especially concerning: a) multiple sectors of the unconscious; b) complex relationships between conscious knowledge and therapeutic change; c) forces opposed to therapeutic change; and d) types of interventions capable of promoting change or the opposite—reinforcing pathology.

The discovery that conscious knowledge does not necessarily produce the desired change if unconscious resistances are not overcome is one of the themes of “On beginning the treatment” (Freud, 1913c), a subject raised again in “The unconscious” (Freud, 1915e) not as a simple technical problem but as a result of the psyche’s organisation into differentiated sectors. In today’s terms, we could say that Freud always conceived of the psyche as consisting of systems or modules, his first topographical model and later the structural model, each with its own origin and development, interacting and influencing each other reciprocally. Not encapsulated modules, as considered by Fodor (1983), but rather the product of a process of modularisation through interactions with other modules.

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7. The work that leads to interpretation

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7

Rogelio Sosnik

The aim of this chapter is to share my reflections on the construction of interpretations. Interpretations are part of our mental activity as human beings, based on our need to make sense of the world that we inhabit, as well as the experiences that we live all along throughout our life. As psychoanalysts there is a specific activity that we need to accomplish, the building of interpretations when we have to play our role with our patients. One of my first questions was: is there something specific about an interpretation that makes it psychoanalytic? And, if it is, how can we determine its specificity? And what is the mental work that we have to do to reach it?

To explore these questions, I will first outline the issues involved, then comment on the evolution of psychoanalytic ideas on the subject in Freud and then through the contributions of Wilfred Bion. Finally, I will offer my view, following Bion, that the work of the interpretation is the result of a co-creation, and is not solely the analyst’s product. I will also attempt to demonstrate why this is so.

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Chapter Four: Creative Processes and Artistic Creation

Karnac Books ePub

Andreas Giannakoulas

In the unlimited potential space of science, alternative paths are constantly opened for exploration, both brand new and very old, modes and forms, appearances and realities that can deeply change our fantasies and actualities, influence our creativity and modify the individual and collective image, and even the quality and continuity of our being.

It has been observed that nowadays every branch of science seems to demonstrate that the world is based on very thin entities such as quarks, DNA messages, and some original neurons that determine the individual destiny from the very start of its life and conception.

Deprived of his own unconscious, robbed of his psyche, of his own experience, and of his imaginative and personal self, the Oedipus of neuroscience ceases his quest for himself and for whom brought him into the world (Aristofane Grammatico, third century BC).

Yet, poets teach us that it is from the encounter of man with himself and the significant other that, through the centuries, flow the most fertile and imaginative forces of our culture, and it is well known that poets and artists were the ones who infused into the passions and vicissitudes of the individual the human dimension of the psychic and the tragic.

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