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11. Freud on Analyzability, Termination, and Recovery of Pathogenic Memories

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

11

 

Freud on Analyzability, Termination, and Recovery of Pathogenic Memories

At first glance, the two papers discussed in the following pages are quite different in both style and intent. “Analysis Terminable and Interminable” is a long, dense paper filled with palpably different mood swings. Its length makes it necessary to reprint only a small portion, but the paper is discussed extensively in this chapter. “Constructions in Analysis,” on the other hand, is a short paper that brings up several interesting issues and ends on an exploratory note. In discussing these last two technique papers, we will look at each of them separately because they show remarkably different aspects of Freud's views on analytic treatment.

“Analysis Terminable and Interminable”

HISTORICAL SOURCES

It is important to read this paper in the context of Freud's life and his surroundings. The following brief look at Freud's life is enhanced by Gay's recent biography of Freud (1988) as well as Schur's book Freud: Living and Dying (1972). In addition, a recent book by Mahony (1989) examines “Analysis Terminable and Interminable” (Freud 1937b) and attempts to explain aspects of content and writing style in terms of a variety of factors in Freud's surroundings. This work, On Defining Freud's Discourse, makes interesting reading because Mahony is both informative and extreme in the conclusions he draws.

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Chapter Fifteen

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

“… several things dovetailed in my mind, and at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement … I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason”

(Keats, 1817)

“To put it in a formula: he must turn his own unconscious like a receptive organ towards the transmitting unconscious of the patient”

(Freud, 1912e)

Introduction and summary

A key concept in the work of Wilfred Bion is that of “linking”: it is fundamental in his understanding of the development of thinking and the development of the mind; the mechanism for thinking thoughts in the analysand, as well as a crucial element in a mutative interpretation on the part of the analyst. Linking can also be seen as inherent in the development of his own thinking about the work of psychoanalysis, in that he brings important elements from the work of Freud forward and links them to concepts from Melanie Klein, as well as the contemporary Kleinian Hannah Segal, and links all of them to his experience working with groups and psychotic patients.

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Chapter Fourteen

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

Summary

This chapter follows Kernberg's theoretical integrations as well as his clinical observations. There is a long section on the borderline syndrome and Kernberg's use of Kleinian concepts. In addition, we look at some of the criticisms that have been levelled at Kernberg over the decades. We present the view that at least some of the criticisms are based on Kernberg's object relations perspective.

The beginnings of an integrative approach

It is a difficult task to attempt to summarize and critique Otto Kernberg's psychoanalytic contributions, for he has presented

1. A version of this chapter has been published previously: Carsky, M., & Ellman, S. (1985). Otto Kernberg: psychoanalysis and object relations theory: the beginnings of an integrative approach. In: J. Reppen (Ed.), Beyond Freud (pp. 257-296). Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.

systematic and wide-sweeping clinical and theoretical statements. His work touches on many, if not most, of the topics that have been of interest to contemporary analysts. Even reviewers who have been sharply critical of Kernberg, such as Calef and Weinshel (1979), have stated that “no other single colleague has been so instrumental in confronting American psychoanalysts with Klein-ian concepts and theories” (1979, p. 470-471). Although there is no question that Kernberg has been strongly influenced by Kleinian concepts, there is also no question that he is attempting to integrate many different parts of what is called the British object relations school, as well as aspects of Freudian thought, ego psychology, and different strands of research in neurophysiology and physiological psychology. This list is by no means complete. Kernberg is strongly interested in affect research as well as research in psychotherapy.

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Chapter Eighteen

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

Summary

This is one of the few chapters where there is a mention of research. The research is presented to illustrate a developmental model that combines physiological factors with relational factors. The research includes some mention of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep research as well as research in motivational pathways of the brain. The chapter includes a model of mother-infant interactions. It ends with a clinical case to illustrate the model in terms of the clinical situation.

Introduction

In 1995, Freudian and relational psychoanalysts published an article comparing and contrasting the two theoretical positions. Merton Gill, who by that time was clearly a relational analyst, summarized the positions and maintained that both types of theory, to some extent, account for both innate and experiential factors but differ in at least four ways.

First, it is uncontestable that the classical point of view emphasizes the innate over the experiential, whereas the relational emphasizes the experiential over the innate. Second—and really a correlate of the first—in the classical view, the innate is explanatorily superor-dinate to the experiential (sometimes reductively so), whereas in the relational, the experiential is explanatorily superordinate to the innate (sometimes reductively so). The issue is a hierarchical one. Mitchell saw the bodily urges—part of intrapsychic structure—as expressed by way of interpersonal relations. Hoffman (personal communication, August 1992) criticized Mitchell's description in that “what seems to be underestimated in this kind of formulation is the importance of sexual interest and desire in itself rather than as a channel for something else which is not intrinsically sexual.” Third, the classical point of view emphasizes how the past determines the present, whereas the relational point of view emphasized how the present can be illuminated by the past. On the whole, the classical point of view sees the present as a repetition of the past, whereas the relational point of view sees the present as more independent of the past. Fourth, the relational view stresses new interpersonal experience over insight as mutative, whereas the reverse is true in the classical view. [Gill, 1995, pp. 91-92]

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2. The Evolution of the Concept of Transference

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

2

 

The Evolution of the Concept of Transference

Freud's Early Theoretical Views

At this point in his career,1 Freud had come to conceive of transference as a crucial aspect of the therapeutic process. One can only imagine that there were times when transference must have seemed, to the creator of psychoanalysis, like a living, breathing entity. Nevertheless the realization of the importance of transference was a painful one, given that it was conceived of amidst clinical difficulties and disappointments. It is no wonder that Freud's interest in the topic fluctuated throughout his career. As early as Studies on Hysteria and the Dora case, Freud was on his way toward recognizing the clinical importance of transference. In The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), written after Studies on Hysteria, Freud proposed a theoretical understanding of transference.

The concept of transference is explained as involving the unconscious system and preconscious system (two systems in what is called Freud's topographic model):

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