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

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 Nine - From not Knowing to Knowing: On Early Infantile Trauma Involving Separation

Karnac Books ePub

Alessandra Cavalli

One of the main reasons that brought Jung to separate from Freud was Freud's belief that infantile experience is paramount and profoundly influences the person that each of us becomes. Jung felt this approach was deterministic and, convinced that there must be more (Jung, 1961; Kerr, 1994; McGuire, 1974), he plunged into the scholarly study of our written heritage: philosophy, physics, and metaphysics, anthropology, astrology, and mythology. In his search for this unknown “more”, Bion's O (1970), Jung sought guidance from the experience of those who had lived before. By finding other ways of understanding the psyche, he hoped to prove that Freud was wrong.

Ironically, separating from Freud was problematic for Jung precisely because it evoked his own unknown and unresolved infantile trauma of separation. Writers including Winnicott (1964), Jackson (1963), Satinover (1985), Fordham (1985), Feldman (1992) and Meredith-Owen (2010, 2011) have discussed the mental crisis Jung suffered as a result, elaborating on this early trauma and how it informed his personality, and how analytical psychology is founded on Jung's attempt to make sense of what he was experiencing and his internal working through.

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Chapter Ten - Friendship: Beyond Oedipus

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 Seven - Beneath the Skin: Archetypal Activity in Psychosis

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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Chapter Eight - Creating a Skin for Imagination, Reflection, and Desire

Karnac Books ePub

Brian Feldman

Introduction

The creation of a secure internal space for the experience of thought, imagination and reflection occurs within the intersubjective matrix of the relationship between baby and (m)other (Ainsworth, 1978; Stern et al., 1998; Tronick, 2007). The development of this secure internal space depends both upon the innate capacities of the infant, the quality of the infant–(m)other attachment, and the ability of the infant–(m)other couple to co-create meaningful experiences that can be generated, integrated, and assimilated and that, over time and through the repeated experience of meaningful interaction, form the scaffolding and structure of the infantile psyche. Interactions between baby and (m)other that involve the surface of the body, the skin, are critical in the evolution of the infant's sense of a bounded internal space that is separated from the external world through a boundary experienced as the skin (Bick, 1968). When the experience of the skin as a boundary between the internal and external realms has evolved, the individual is able to experience living within their own individual skin, separate but interconnected with significant others. Secure attachment (Ainsworth, 1978) is facilitated through the evolution of a primary skin function (Feldman, 2004) that can serve as a container of psychological and emotional experience, and this primary skin function evolves through the sensitive interactions, both bodily and emotional, between the baby and the mothering figure. Bick emphasises the importance of the capacity of the (m)other to physically hold the baby in whatever physical or emotional state the infant is in. The mother's capacity to both tolerate, mediate, soothe, and transform the often terrifying mental states of the baby into more manageable and digestible experiences (Bion, 1962) is another significant factor in the evolution of a secure attachment relationship and in the development of a primary skin function. Infant observation using the Bick (1964) method has been helpful in being able to understand the importance of the skin in infancy, and has helped to provide evidence that the evolution of a healthy primary skin function promotes containment, reflection, and thought. The emergence of a secondary skin function involves bodily defences such as repetitive movement, freezing (Fraiberg, 1987), and addictive and auto-sensuous behaviours to help contain unbearable affects often stimulated by separation and abandonment (Tustin, 1990). In this chapter, I shall try to show how both primary and secondary skin functions develop within the context of two observations of infants from different cultural backgrounds, one from North America and the other from Latin America. I will also explore the importance of the primary and secondary skin functions for contemporary analytical work.

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