33 Slices
Medium 9781782204657

2 - On the Trail of Voyeurism

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

(1996)

Célia Fix Korbivcher

Cristina is a 25-year-old woman who has been in analysis with me for some years. Originally she came three times a week, but last year we moved up to four sessions a week at my suggestion. She is single, and her parents are separated. There is more information about her history, but I should perhaps leave it for later.

Donald Meltzer: Yes. Let's see the clinical material.

Célia Korbivcher: This session happened on a Friday and was a replacement for the Monday session. It was the first week of analysis after the holidays. We had agreed to this replacement session before the holidays because I was going to resume working on Tuesday.

DM: Then, it is a replacement session for the previous Monday.

CK: Yes. When Cristina arrived, she said that she almost did not show up that day because she had forgotten. She said: ‘I suddenly opened my appointment book and saw the appointment there. Then, I called to confirm and decided not even to go to work in the afternoon.’ She sighs and in an enthusiastic tone, says: ‘I didn't sit down the whole day. Let's see what will happen. It is good to do so much; this prevents me from getting depressed.’ In the previous sessions, the atmosphere was what she calls depressive. She continued to talk about her work.

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3 - Emergence from Living in Projective Identification

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

(1996)

Martha Maria de Moraes Ribeiro

Elisa is a 46-year-old woman who has been in analysis for almost eight years, with four sessions a week, during which she has tried to emerge from an archaic defensive system which I will refer to as a prey–predator relationship.

Donald Meltzer: Could you explain to me why you have chosen this term instead of the ordinary term sadomasochism?

Martha Ribeiro: This has to do with the patient's history. She is a researcher working in the field of prey–predation relationships and tonic immobility.

DM: In what? In what sense, predation?

MR: I will explain. Elisa was originally referred to me by G, who shortly after died. After her friend's death, her somatisations gained strength again, with diarrhoea and abdominal cramps, and her depression worsened to such an extent that her creative, concentrating, and working capacities were becoming paralysed. She was afraid of not being able to continue with her work as a professor at the university.

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3 - Technical Problems of the Analysis

Melega, Marisa Pelella Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

In this chapter, we can see the deeper focus on some of the technical problems of this analysis, discussed with Dr Meltzer, as these became especially apparent during the next semester of the analysis, from January 1980 onwards.

Session of January 29th, 1980

Mário enters and immediately starts shouting at me:

Mário: Shut up! Otherwise I’ll cut your mouth or I’ll tie your mouth or I’ll cut your hand! What would you rather have done to you?

And he carries on with the business of filling up a page with numbers in decreasing order, then shows me the CIAM student list (his special school). I ask him if he is still going to study at CIAM this year (a decision to be made before he goes on holiday). He nods and tells me to shut up.

Analyst: You feel I am a threat every time I say something. What do you expect me to do? Am I supposed only to listen to you?

Mário: Right.

Analyst: Like a bucket? I just take in everything you say?

 Mário: Right. If you don't shut your mouth within ten minutes, I’ll cut out your tongue.

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4 - A Countertransference Experience with an Eleven-Year-Old Boy

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

(1996)

Alicia Beatriz Dorado de Lisondo

Felipe is an eleven-year-old boy who has a sister aged seven and another aged six months. The parents got married when the mother was seven months pregnant. Their marriage and family life is in a painful, fragile and stormy condition: the parents blame and accuse one other, especially about how to educate their child. The mother, depressed, insecure and frail, sees the father as someone obsessed with his attempts to assert his paternal function. He himself feels guilty, lacking in authority, undervalued, and responsible for the family misfortunes; in desperation he resorts to physical violence and shouting. Very talented in his own profession, he used to be alcoholic, and has now recovered from this thanks to his own psychoanalysis.

Both father and mother are undergoing psychoanalytic treatment. The paternal grandfather is a menacing shadow behind Felipe; he lived in an institution for the elderly and was considered emotionally deficient. The middle child is just the opposite of my patient: she is a very spoiled girl, a leader at school and apparently a model child who seems to teach her parents how to be parents. By contrast my patient found himself in the position of a black sheep.

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6 - Review

Melega, Marisa Pelella Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

In July 1997, eighteen years after the end of Mário's analysis, I reviewed the case with Meltzer in a supervision group at Oxford, which also included José Americo Junqueira, Joao Carlos Braga, and Marli Braga. After reading out the introductory sections, the first meetings, and the session of August 15th, 1979 [page 23, above], Dr Meltzer commented:

Meltzer: It certainly reminds me (and probably at that time reminded me) of a boy we had in Oxford who was in the process of progressing from being autistic and mute to gradually becoming more and more schizophrenic. He also had these very elaborate, quasi-historical stories that he made up, which were really confabulated but had their roots in history and Bible stories and things of this sort. This boy was more particularly rooted in the Old Testament and the story of Abraham and Isaac, and the old man and the old woman were Abraham and Sarah. He was very preoccupied with this.

I then read out the session of August 16th, 1979 [page 24].

Meltzer: You certainly had a very therapeutic impact in the first session, which he announces to you immediately, that the werewolf has been captured and the gold recovered and so on. He really settles down to some sort of communication with you in which you are working almost purely with your intuition, because the content of what he says isn't really intelligible. But the mood and the flavours are what you pick up and what you talk to him about, and he seems very gratified by this – that you are not bound to language, to the verbal level. You are willing to take language in its wider, communicative aspects and so get at his feelings about things. This is very promising really.

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