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Medium 9781782204886

Chapter Nine: Mistrusting the Analyst

Salman Akhtar Karnac Books ePub

Andrew B. Klafter

Strange things happen in psychoanalysts’ offices and it is with one such occurrence that I begin this contribution.

Clinical vignette: 1

Mrs. A has just gotten up from the couch. On her way to my exit door, she turns to me and starts speaking incoherently. At first I think she is joking, but then she collapses, striking her head on my floor. My next patient, Miss B, is sitting in my waiting room. After making sure that Mrs. A is breathing and has a stable pulse, I inform Miss B that I need to attend to an emergency and I will not be able to meet with her. She peeks behind me, and sees Mrs. A sprawled out on my floor. I insist that her husband come pick her up, as I am afraid she'll faint again while walking to her car or driving. (Mrs. A actually has a known history of occasionally fainting when she suddenly stands up, and on this particular day she had donated blood before her analytic appointment).

The next day, when Miss B returns, she is furious at me. “How could you be so f—king stupid to fall for that crap?!” she said. Miss B is profoundly disappointed in me for believing that my patient actually fainted. “I almost didn't come back today.” I ask if she can explain why. “I feel like, if you would fall for this, then there's no chance you can possibly handle me.” I ask her what she means. “I was thinking of all the stuff I could do if I want to screw with you, and her fainting stunt would pale in comparison.” I encourage her to tell me the kinds of things she imagines doing to me. She describes thoughts of slashing my tires, of sending me anonymous anti-Semitic bomb threats, cutting herself on her way out of my office, or trying to seduce me sexually. “The bottom line,” she says, “is that you know I find it very hard to trust you. And when you do something like this, it's very hard to take you seriously. You are so weak!”

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Medium 9781780490649

Arlene Kramer Richards

Akhtar, Salman Karnac Books ePub

Arlene Kramer Richards is a Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Freudian Society; Fellow, Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; member, APsaA and IPA. Author of 7 children’s books including How to Get it Together When Your Parents are Coming Apart (Random House Children’s Books, 1976), and coeditor, Fantasy Myth and Reality: Essays in Honor of Jacob Arlow (IUP, 1988) and papers on female sexuality, perversion, and gambling. Dr. Richards is a practicing psychoanalyst and lives in an apartment in Manhattan and a house in Garrison, NY with her husband, the well-known psychoanalyst, Arnold Richards.

Out with it. Why let all that good stuff rattle around in your head?

Circulating through reverberating circuits?

Keep it coming. The foolish along with the pointedly

Accurate.

There, that man sitting beside me on the bus. Old.

He fastens his folded newspaper to his several times re-folded

brown paper bag

With three bronze paper clips.

Having reorganized the books, I’m ready for a girl-scout

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Medium 9781855757806

Commentary

Salman Akhtar Karnac Books ePub

Hector Juan Fiorini

I wish to begin by emphasizing the value of this article, which I enables us to think once again about a theme that is especially interesting for psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice that assigns a significant place to the creative processes.

The author centres his analysis on the notion of regression at the service of the ego, highlighted in studies by Kris (1952). He considers this notion too general, and believes that we require greater precision in our thinking concerning the ego functions involved in the different phases of the creative processes. In Weissman’s view, a number of functions combine to operate in these processes: dissociative; de-synthesizing, and integrative synthetic functions. He considers these functions essential in two phases of the creative process: inspiration and elaboration. The author considers that the operational mode of these functions in these phases should not be viewed as regressive, but as a controlled way to come into contact with unconscious material while preserving the active regulatory capacities that are put into action in the entire creative process. He adds other ego operations: identification with the receiver of the creative work, as operations also involved in the phase of elaboration.

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Medium 9781782205890

Chapter Six - Regret on the Screen and Regret as a Screen

Salman Akhtar Karnac Books ePub

Apurva Shah

At the very end of Ritesh Batra's movie, The Lunchbox (2013), the protagonist, Saajan, overcomes his inhibitions and self-doubts and interrupts the beginning of his retirement to go look for Ila, the woman he has come to love through notes exchanged in the lunchbox she has been sending him, instead of her husband, for months due to a rare routing mistake by a tiffin courier system in Mumbai. Meanwhile Ila, whose secure, if humdrum, life has been turned topsy-turvy by her father's death and the subsequent realization of how unhappy her mother was in their marriage and by the discovery of her own husband's infidelity, has been inspired by her correspondence with Saajan to move to Bhutan with her daughter to try to find genuine happiness. In an ending reminiscent of those of O. Henry, the two are about to miss each other, again.1 Since the scene leaves us hanging, we fear that Saajan will suffer from deep and everlasting regret, a fear so great that most people prefer to believe that they will meet, sometime, somewhere, somehow.

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Medium 9781782204428

Chapter 2: On the Origins of the Body Ego and its Implications for Psychotic Vulnerability

Salman Akhtar Karnac Books ePub

JOHANNES LEHTONEN, M.D.

In the “Outline” Freud wrote (1940, p. 144) that the biological and psychological facts of mental life are like two end points of our knowing. We can say nothing about the relation between them except, perhaps in the future to describe the localization in the brain of mental events, without this helping us, however, anywhere in understanding them. In The Ego and the Id (1923) he defined the ego first and foremost as a body ego, a psychical projection or outcome of body surface experiences in the earliest phases of life. He did not describe the nature of the body ego in detail, however.

Although fundamental to the structural view, the clinical manifestations of the body ego in adults are still not very well known. Freud's view of the body ego as the source of all later ego development, implied a real contact between the bodily and mental phenomena in the developing human being. After his preliminary formulation, the concept of the body ego has nevertheless received relatively little attention and the nature of the contact continues to be enigmatic. We agree only in general terms, that the basic layers of the personality are born out of the early interplay between the infant and the mother. We further agree that the vital satisfactions the mother gives to the infant are crucial for early development, but our ideas about how the primordial ego, the body ego,1 is formed out of these satisfactions are spread amongst many different kinds of theories and unintegrated clinical and empirical observations.

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