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Chapter Four - Jung's Concept of Psychoid Unconsciousness: A Clinician's View

Alessandra Cavalli Karnac Books ePub

George Bright

Introduction

Jung's use of the term “psychoid” in his published work dates, with one outlying exception, to the late period, 1947 to 1958. In these eleven years, there are barely a dozen references, mostly in passing, half of which are in published letters to a variety of correspondents. Jung makes neologistic use of a word imported from Hans Driesch via Eugen Bleuler, and his concept of psychoid unconsciousness amounts, in my view, to an original and clinically important conceptual statement. Addison (2009) has recently set out the historical evolution of the term. Not unusually, Jung introduces a concept for which no contemporary word suffices. He borrows a word from a similar field, gives it a meaning of his own, but nowhere in his published work provides us with a full treatment to define, discuss, or clarify his conceptual neologism. Shamdasani (2012, p. 375) has suggested that Jung cannot be regarded primarily as a theoretician, but rather as a “psychological essayist”, and he proposes that Jung's theories are “simply an approximation by which he is trying to translate his insights into a language for a scientific and medical audience”. This leaves the contemporary analytical psychologist with a number of possible tasks in developing or commenting on Jung's thought. Some have tried to create a unified and consistent set of theories from Jung's published work. This seems to me neither realistically possible nor consistent with Jung's own approach.

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Chapter Six - Defences of the Core Self: Borderline Functioning, Trauma, and Complex

Alessandra Cavalli Karnac Books ePub

Marcus West

“The via regia to the unconscious, however, is not the dream, as [Freud] thought, but the complex, which is the architect of dreams and symptoms. Nor is this via so very ‘royal’, either, since the way pointed out by the complex is more like a rough and uncommonly devious footpath that often loses itself in the undergrowth and generally leads not into the heart of the unconscious but past it”

(Jung, 1934, par. 210)

This chapter outlines a contemporary Jungian approach to working with patients with a borderline psychology, acknowledging that early developmental trauma underlies borderline modes of functioning but describing how Jung's underused concept of the complex still brilliantly accounts for many of the associated phenomena. Such traumas disrupt ego functioning, so that the vulnerable core is exposed and imperative “defences of the core self” are called up. The chapter extends and elaborates the concept of the complex, looking in detail at the “dual aspect” of its functioning. It also acknowledges the difficulty in reconciling and integrating early trauma-related internal working models (in both direct and reversed modes); these are consequently constellated and reconstructed in the analytic relationship. This is a co-construction, involving both patient and analyst, and a particular analytic attitude and perspective is called for in order to work safely and effectively in this area. This work in the transference–countertransference allows the traumatic complex to be detoxified and integrated, freeing the individual to develop further and to function effectively and in a more fulfilling way.

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Chapter Ten - Friendship: Beyond Oedipus

Alessandra Cavalli Karnac Books ePub

Stefano Carta

In this chapter, I will explore the theme of friendship as a transformation of that libidinal love that characterises the Oedipal complex with its implicit themes of betrayal and narcissism. My aim is twofold. First, to show how these issues describe a harmonic dialectic formation which, starting from the original force of libidinal love, may, or may not, evolve and mature during a person's life or a patient's analysis. I believe that friendship, if defined in a certain way, is truly the highest and most mature form of human relationship—one of the deepest embodiments that the elixir of individuation may take.

In my view, the relationship between libidinal love—as a sort of prima materia and the lapis of friendship—is deeply bound and rooted within the very essence of the “analytical situation”, so much so that its history and vicissitudes may be traced back to the birth of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology as a direct product of the original relationship between Freud and Jung. As I will try to show, the transformation of Oedipal love into friendship is neither easy nor obvious. Neither has it been sufficiently analysed, or been given the role that I believe it should have.

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Chapter Three - Reversal and Recovery in Trauma: Unrepresentability in Bion, Jung, and Fordham

Alessandra Cavalli Karnac Books ePub

Geraldine Godsil

“It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself”

(Jung, 1958)

“The primary self…[is]…indestructible”

(Fordham, 1995)

My aim in this chapter is first to locate Wilfred Bion in the context of his history as a war veteran and to explore whether the theory of thinking that emerges from this history offers a way of better understanding the impact of trauma at the micro level of process. Second, and much more tentatively, I want to explore through three clinical examples whether his concept of reversal of alpha function might be relevant in thinking about the consequences of the particular kind of trauma experienced under totalitarian systems, where attacks on the mind are aimed at distortion of the truth. My hypothesis is that a double environmental deprivation might then exist, in the state itself and in its intrusions into, and consequences for, the family culture. This exploration is motivated by a sense of something missing in Jung's and Fordham's theories of representation as they currently stand.

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Chapter Seven - Beneath the Skin: Archetypal Activity in Psychosis

Alessandra Cavalli Karnac Books ePub

Maggie McAlister

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

(Yeats, 1919)

My interest in writing this chapter has emerged from my longstanding involvement in working with patients with severe and enduring mental health problems, particularly psychosis. I have been employed in an inpatient secure psychiatric hospital within the National Health Service for the past sixteen years, where the Forensic Psychotherapy Department offers group and individual treatment to mentally disordered offenders, as well as running Reflective Practice groups for staff members on the wards. We are working with patients who have a diagnosis of severe and enduring mental illness, largely paranoid schizophrenia, and who have committed grave offences. They come into contact with our service via the Criminal Justice System and their offences are often violent, and carried out largely as a result of their psychotic beliefs. They are, therefore, deemed to need treatment within a medium-security hospital setting in order to modify and risk assess their dangerousness. One can say of this client group that their symbolic mental functioning has broken down, leading to very concrete states of mind, as seen in their psychosis as well as in the enactment of their offences (Cordess & Cox, 1996). The offending behaviour also can be thought of as a wish to evacuate, through action, overwhelmingly intolerable states of mind (Morgan & Ruszczynski, 2007).

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