135 Slices
Medium 9781855759688

10. Concerning the perception of one’s own attributes and its relation to language development

Donald Meltzer Karnac Books ePub

Donald Meltzer with Mme Eve Cohen (Paris)

The differentiation in the clinical setting of psychoanalysis be tween the manifestations of delusions and the reporting of primitive perceptions would seem to be an area of observation and description opened up by Bion’s Theory of Thinking. By offering us a model that enables us to conceive of such a differentiation he has made possible our monitoring the phenomena of our consulting room for their realizations. The theory of alpha-function and beta-elements has already proved itself fruitful for clinical observation in the area of communication of meaningful messages versus communication-like missiles of meaningless stuff. In work with psychotic children it has helped us to recognize their response to bombardment with emotional experiences for which they have no capacity either of containment or thought. It also gives us a basis for distinguishing between immaturity and psychosis.

A report presented by Mme Eve Cohen at a seminar held in Paris in April 1982 throws some valuable light on the problem. Mme Cohen’s material concerned her patient, Henri, aged twenty-six, who had had a breakdown while abroad after six years of aimless wanderings following upon his mother’s departure from the family home to live with a lover with whom she had had a secret liaison for over ten years. Among his complaints at the time of hospitalization there was none of the usual delusional ideas nor was his demeanour and mode of communication bizarre or unfriendly or secretive. On the contrary, he was very open in describing the many phenomena of perception of himself and the world which troubled him and prevented him from maintaining any settled mode of life.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855752405

14. A learning experience in psychoanalysis

Donald Meltzer Karnac Books ePub

Psychoanalytic Group of Barcelona

This chapter is in fact part of a more extensive work, the gestation of which commenced in 1991 when our first contract with Donald Meltzer came to an end. We had the prospect before us of publishing a book that would expound some of the teachings that he had transmitted to us through clinical work. We held a meeting during which Meltzer showed little interest in this book; he did, however, show interest in a book that would give an account of our experience of working together as a group in psychoanalytic training. He put forward his idea of training based on the model of an atelier (Sincerity had not yet been published) and encouraged us to describe and define our experience.

This surprised us. We were not very convinced. We feared that it exceeded our abilities. We therefore went on with the tasks we had previously planned (the “case” book, as we called it within the group, was published: Meltzer & GPB, 1995). In spite of our perplexity, astonishment, and doubts, the idea was not abandoned; it was put off and at times forgotten, but it kept on reappearing with increasing force throughout the years. From 1991 on we held a series of meetings designed to elaborate our ideas around our experience as a training group. We felt that we did not meet the necessary requirements for observing ourselves—and even today we still have similar doubts. We do not feel that we can answer the question about the group’s particularity; this query remains.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855752528

9. Felipe: analytic work on the threshold of the depressive position

Donald Meltzer Karnac Books ePub

THERAPIST: The idea of presenting this case arose as a result of an internal seminar carried out on projective identification. I referred to this case when we were speaking about the clinical material that we had presented, and my colleagues suggested I should bring it to this Seminar, as they found it interesting, in order to develop this concept. I have brought some notes from the first interview, one week of the patient’s treatment (three sessions), and yesterday’s session, in which there is a dream that I found interesting and illustrative.

At the time of his first interview with me, Felipe was around 30 years of age. He had seen a psychoanalyst, who had referred him to me.

P: Are you Argentinean? I wanted a Catalan so as to integrate.

X. told me that what I wanted to “integrate” was my head. I left my country many years ago. I was in Venezuela and California before I came here…; . But I am mistrustful of Argentinean psychology. He made several references to other attempts to receive psychotherapeutic assistance in his own country, which all led to interruptions.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855757844

CHAPTER FIVE: Money-Kyrle's concept of misconception

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Introduction by Jon Morgan Stokkeland and
Lars Thorgaard

How is it that a concept, such as Money-Kyrle's of “misconceptions”, can be of such extreme importance for our understanding of the psychoanalytic attitude? Meltzer poses the question, and he also gives elements of the answers, in this important discussion of Money-Kyrle's paper on “Cognitive Development”. He writes with tenderness and care about the influence that Money-Kyrle had both personally and professionally on himself, on his own work and on his psychoanalytic attitude.

Psychoanalytic theory, he writes, is influenced by “harsh and puritanical aspects that can enter in such a judgemental way into our work”. Meltzer wants us to use the concept of misconception to “increase the awareness of the complexity and the inefable aspects of our work” and to help us “to distance ourselves even further from the vice of explanation, contenting ourselves with description and partial comprehension”. Money-Kyrle's paper suggests “that innocent, unintentional misunderstandings, based on primal misconceptions growing out of early developmental experience, can seriously distort the entire structure of 'cognitive development'” [our italics].

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855750845

13. Towards an atelier system (1971)

Donald Meltzer Karnac Books ePub

This article, written for circulation amongst the members of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, offers a critical view of the selection, training, and qualification of candidates at the Institute of Psycho Analysis, It did not enhance the author’s popularity with tlie psychoanalytic “establishment” that he suggested an organization to teach and learn psychoanalysis in a less authoritarian setting to function concurrently with the “official” training. These were felt in 1971 to be subversive ideas, and they aroused fears that the interest of psychoanalysts would be deflected away from the Society and from the established theories and doctrines,

Some years of effort by the Curriculum Committee having now resulted In a new course of study for students and a new organization of teaching staff, the task has arisen for It of evaluation, feedback, development. Some of the difficulties in this area that have come under discussion throw into sharp relief the essential nature of the educational system we have, as a matter of course, perpetuated. It gives rise to some uneasiness and a need to reconsider the system itself. Insofar as these concerns with the microcosm of psychoanalysis, and thus with thought and opinion growing out of immediate experience and conflict, bear upon our understanding of the larger world, they can be considered of general interest. It Is for this reason, I presume, that Dr Klauber invited me to write up some ideas I had expressed for distribution in the Scientific Bulletin.

See All Chapters

See All Slices