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CHAPTER FIVE: Integrating some mind and brain views of transference: the phenomena

Levin, Fred M. Karnac Books ePub

Fred Levin

Introduction

This chapter25 builds on the insights of Chapters 1–4 and further examines novel interdisciplinary perspectives on transferential learning phenomena. Extra-analytic information about the more general set of phenomena that constitutes transference enhances both clinical work and psychoanalytic theory construction. As we have seen, making correlations with ideas from cognate fields accelerates the contribution of psychoanalysis to more general scientific theories (Waelder, 1962). At the level of clinical theory, Merton Gill saw interdisciplinary analyses as highly relevant attempts to understand psychoanalytic phenomena from the broadest perspective possible.

Some notable interdisciplinary efforts have appeared on the subject of transference: for example, Fried, Crits-Christoph, and Luborsky (1992) have documented the existence of transference phenomena outside the clinical context of psychoanalysis, thus confirming what psychoanalysts and cognitive psychologists have long inferred, that the transference concept has utility in explaining behavior generally and is not restricted solely to the clinical setting. Also, Forrest (1991a,b) has discussed transference as a brain phenomenon susceptible to derangement in conditions such as the misidentification syndrome. Forrest (1994b, 1997) further warns us against splitting our thinking and clinical approaches to patients into partial domains where biological and psychological approaches are conceptualized as unrelated entities.

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7. Psychoanalysis, Nonverbal Communication, and the Integration of Touch (Contiguity), Vision (Similarity), and Hearing (Sonority)

Levin, Fred M. Karnac Books ePub

It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that language means verbalization. We know that there are languages that do not rely on verbalization at all, such as the sign language of the deaf but we tend to disavow the significance of their existence and also of the many modes of communicating that involve gesture, facial expression, posture, dress, and so forth. BellugVs research at the Salk Institute has shown that language is exceedingly complex and that it is most certainly more than verbalization. Verbalization is important for the system of syntactical language, but this is merely one language mode among many.

What then is language if it is not strictly words or signs? The honest answer is that we really do not know yet. However, many scientists within a number of disciplines have been working on the problem. In a sense, language represents a cluster or family of related communicative capabilities. Chapter 7 explores, classifies, and illustrates some of these possibilities. There are several points to be made: (1) man’s communicative systems seem roughly divided between those that are verbal and those that are nonverbal; (Z) the nonverbal communicative modes seem to be inborn, function from birth or shortly thereafter, and serve as a language foundation on which the syntactical system is later superimposed; (3) exposure to syntactical language decisively reorganizes the brain in the direction of allowing for abstracting ability (which I believes is the basis for advanced psychological development, syntactical language fluency, and various cultural achievements); and (4) the neurophysiological basis for man’s capacity for what Daniel Stern calls “a modal perception” (and I call crossed modal integration) remains to be discovered (although various speculations are made in this chapter and elsewhere in this book as to what this sensory integration process may consist of). Many psychopathological conditions probably result from disturbances in the sensory integration system.

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CHAPTER SIX: Some additional thoughts on attention

Levin, Fred M. Karnac Books ePub

Fred Levin

Introduction

Ayoung driver suddenly comes to a screeching halt as he realizes that his car has entered an intersection against a red light and is perilously close to pedestrians. The surprise on his face makes him look as if he just awoke from a bad dream.

A self employed business man fires his secretary and then gradually discovers that he is unable to stay organized and properly attend to many accounting details which begin to seriously overwhelm him.

A grammar school student with an otherwise nice disposition becomes surly with her parents after realizing that once again she has forgotten to turn in a homework assignment, and will not get academic credit for her efforts.

An analyst listens to a patient freely associate and is surprised to find herself thinking of the very last time she spoke with a dying friend. Returning from this reverie, however, she recalls that at the beginning of this same session the patient had innocently mentioned in passing the name of a particular friend he might visit on an upcoming trip. The analyst knows that this close friend of the patient is suffering from cancer. The analyst comments on her own associations, and with this the patient gets more in touch with his current fears about losing his friend to cancer. He had been aware of these thoughts earlier in the session, but was defending against them.

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN: What working with the neuropsychiatric patient teaches clinical psychoanalysis

Levin, Fred M. Karnac Books ePub

Fred Levin and Meyer S. Gunther

Introduction

What we have to say grows out of our work as clinicians, teachers, and researchers. Specifically, each of us has had the pleasure of working as a member of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team, one (FML) with the MENDAC119 Program for the Deaf, the other (MSG) with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. What we have to say in this chapter, however, should complement previous discussions elsewhere in this monograph on specific approaches to psychoanalytic treatment based upon understanding the workings of mind–brain.

Kinds of illness

The literature on analytic approaches to neuropsychiatric cases is highly varied (Christensen, 1992; Forrest, 1994b; Kallert, 1993; Kaplan-DeNour & Bauman, 1980; Morozov, 1989a,b; Persinger, 1993; Sandin, Cifu, & Noll, 1994; Soderstrom, Fogelsjoo, Fujl-Meyer, & Stensson, 1988; Stablum, Leonardi, Massoldi, Umiltà, & Morra, 1994). Most rehabilitation cases requiring psychiatric consultation involve patients suffering from acute brain or spinal cord injury from accidents; the next largest group of patients suffers from strokes, malignancies, or neurodegenerative disorders (amyotro-phic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and the like). A third or miscellaneous group involves brain complications associated with burns or massive soft-tissue and bone trauma, and children and adults with congenital or developmental problems (including such things as deafness, blindness, autism, language or developmental delay, epilepsy, Tourette’s Syndrome, etc.).

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12. Overview

Levin, Fred M. Karnac Books ePub

The title Mapping the Mind was chosen because the idea of mapping connotes the optimal activity for a stage of exploration in a field with relatively few landmarks. Such is the state of interdisciplinary research correlating mind and brain. It has been important for the many scientists involved to carefully delineate meaningful psychological or functional units and their possible neurophysiological correlates so as to guide our thinking and future research intelligently. Science grows by incremental steps in which old and new theories are compared by experimentation, the results communicated to colleagues, and periodic shifts made in paradigms when enough new evidence is accumulated to seriously question older theories.

I hope that in this book I have accurately conveyed the pioneering studies of the individuals mentioned, along with my personal sense of excitement about man’s voyage into the terra incognita of the human brain. Our brains are as novel a territory to us as the discovery of the New World was to the citizens of late 15th-and early 16th-century Europe. The explorer Amerigo Vespucci wrote in 1503 to Lorenzo de’Medici about a “new world” (S. Schwartz, 1980, p. 14). Similarly, the current generation of research in psychoanalysis and neuroscience is creating a radical opportunity for mankind to improve its own conditions on the basis of the possibility of a united knowledge of mind and brain. Until we have such a unified theory, however, we will need the assistance of maps to help us navigate through the complex interdisciplinary perspectives involved. Thus, the purpose of this book: to conceptualize and map out the general dimensions of mind and brain, as they are currently available, but at a level of specificity and detail sufficient to be maximally useful to scholars and clinicians alike.

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