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Chapter Two - The Trauma of Lost Love in Psychoanalysis

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl Karnac Books ePub

CHAPTER TWO

The trauma of lost love in psychoanalysis

Most historians agree that in the history of psychoanalysis Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g) marks a juncture, even perhaps the juncture. Until 1920, no one could be a Freudian without subscribing to his libido theory—in its evolving formulation—and to the centrality of the sexual instinctual drive in the aetiology of the neuroses. Non-subscribers left the movement. Adler's and Jung's withdrawals became like traumas that Freud kept trying to master in writing about them. But in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud himself brought into question the defining position of the libido theory. He disagreed with himself, and the disagreements his internal debate provoked among his followers have, to this day, not ceased reverberating. But, because the master's revision was so problematic, and got no less so as he elaborated his new theory in some later works while rejecting it in others, his followers have felt free to disagree without needing to become schismatics. Beyond the Pleasure Principle was more a statement of intense theoretical need than a diktat.

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CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE: Body, Blood and Sexuality: A Psychoanalytic Study of St. Francis’s Stigmata and Their Historical Context

Gillian Preston Karnac Books ePub

An attractive feature of this unusual short book is that it takes hysteria seriously. It is generally assumed in psychiatry today that the prevalence of hysteria, which gave Freud so much of his material for creating the foundations of psychoanalysis, has greatly reduced during the twentieth century; the understanding of character disorder, with special reference to narcissism, has taken the dominant place in the literature. But whether hysteria has really declined is open to doubt; it is hysterical manifestations that have changed, owing to several major sociological trends, such as improvement in the roles and opportunities available to women. Hysteria has also suffered by entering the vernacular as a pejorative term, but its loss as a rich and informative diagnosis has left psychiatry the poorer. Psychoanalysis, so often attacked from many angles today, can be said to have held the corner for hysteria, in spite of the reduction in its dramatic psychophysical symptoms, such as conversion. This book, which skilfully weaves together a scholarly approach to mediaeval religious history with fluent handling of psychoanalytic theory, does much to redress the balance.

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CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE: The assessment of psychological-mindedness in the psychiatric interview

Gillian Preston Karnac Books ePub

In the last paragraph of his paper “A defect in training”, Yorke (1988) has a sentence which serves as an excellent link to the opening of this paper : “For all their importance, empathy and awareness of patients’ anxieties do not in themselves amount to psychological understanding” (p. 160). In his paper, he had made a plea for more psychoanalytical psychology to be included in a general postgraduate psychiatric training, and I am in complete agreement with his cogently argued case.

However, I want to concentrate on a particular aspect of this point. When an experienced psychoanalyst is carrying out a diagnostic consultation with a view to assessing a patient’s suitability for analysis or analytical psychotherapy, he is exercising his own skill and psychological-mindedness in this intensive exploration. The prospects of a successful treatment will be greatly enhanced if he finds the patient is “psychologically-minded”—whatever the presenting complaints, or however unpromising the superficial impression. Therefore, I would like to detail some of the qualities of this feature, with a view to offering some guidelines to colleagues who are still learning their technique. Because of the value of brief lists for the purpose of consigning to accessible memory, I shall lay out these points in an approximate order of discovery, rather than of importance, under two main headings. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the whole may be larger than the sum of its parts.

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Chapter Six - Reflections on Women and Psychoanalysis

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl Karnac Books ePub

CHAPTER SIX

Reflections on women and psychoanalysis

Introduction

I wanted to prepare a historical and clinical text that would bring us to the present tense of “Women and Psychoanalysis”, let us reflect on how we—we in the field of psychoanalysis—have come a long way on this topic, and where we might be going. So I thought about writing a brief history—a “multibiography”—of women psychoanalysts, our foremothers, and comparing their situations with ours. Then I thought about writing a brief history of women in psychoanalysis—-of women as patients—focusing on how women patients now are understood and treated. With these possibilities, I wanted to avoid writing a history of changing views in psychoanalysis of female psychology, as that has been done many times, for many purposes. Not one of you is in need of such a treatise, for you have all taken whole courses on this “changing views” theme at your training institutes, and many of you teach such courses. In fact, one of the key features of the present moment of “Women and Psychoanalysis” is that we are all well aware of the history of changing views in psychoanalysis of female psychology; we are thoroughly historicised.

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CHAPTER SIX: A whole attitude to life and work

Gillian Preston Karnac Books ePub

Michael Brearley

Many people influence our work and thinking. Often we can forget, or not fully allow ourselves to know, how much someone has influenced us. And one reason for this can be that someone’s ideas become so central to our thinking that we lose touch with their source in that other person. Nina Coltart was an influence on me of this kind, one who was so close that I risk taking her for granted. It is also hard to know what comes directly from her, quotably, as it were, and what comes more indirectly but pervasively by means of assimilation and identification from a whole attitude to life and work. In just such latter ways, I think, we also take things in from our parents and our analysts.

Nina was the supervisor of my first training case. This was a difficult but ultimately rewarding experience, and her help with it, for an inexperienced candidate, was immense. The help was also, as I came to see more clearly with hindsight, subtle, tactful, and given with a light touch. Nina was able to take a back seat, refraining from forcing stuff on me beyond my capacity to take it in. She knew that too much information would overload and confuse me, and too much criticism would inhibit me. She recognized the centipede in me—if one asked a centipede to think about the movement of each leg, it would fall into a ditch. Like General Kutuzov in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she refused to get drawn into meretricious ventures for personal glory, and had faith not only in the process of psychoanalysis, but also in me and the patient.

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