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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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15. Freud's Actual Conduct of Treatment

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

15

 

Freud's Actual Conduct of Treatment

It would seem that Freud's cases would be a natural place to turn in order to gain further insight into his ideas about psychoanalytic treatment. However, when one looks at Freud's behavior with patients, it is difficult to reconcile some of his conduct with his written work. If one takes some of the comments of Freud's former patients seriously, then it becomes even more challenging to integrate Freud's actions with his theoretical understanding. During the course of this volume we have not systematically looked at Freud's behavior with patients. In this chapter we will briefly discuss this topic and then more extensively focus on Freud's notes from the case of the Rat Man.

Freud as an Analyst

Although at times Freud may have seen himself first and foremost as the inventor of a new technique (Bernfeld 1949), this perception does not seem relevant to him at most points in his career. On occasion he is clearly concerned with this new technique (this new method of observation), while at other times the technique is quite definitely of secondary importance. In at least two of the three cases that we have mentioned, Freud's concern was not with the observational method that he was employing, but rather the theoretical issues that were driving him at the time.

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Chapter Eight

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

Summary

This period begins with Klein's paper on schizoid dynamics (1946), which she publishes at the same time that Fairbairn is publishing his paper on schizoid dynamics. She now has two named positions, the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive position. The depressive position is thought to occur a good earlier than had been the case in previous publications. Klein, in this era, spells out many of her concepts: projective identification is conceptualized as both an important defence and a mode of communication with both developmental and clinical importance. During this period, Klein writes an important paper on transference, expanding the Freudian concept and using the concept of projective identification to account for transference manifestations. A great deal of the chapter is devoted to her last major work “Envy and gratitude” (1957), where she details the centrality of envy and greed. Dynamics concerning envy and greed account for the most venal of “sins” (or human difficulties), and dynamics concerning envy are an inevitable aspect of early development. Despite her new emphasis on envy, Klein finds some renewed accommodation with Winnicott. Her new emphasis is a movement to accommodate environmental influences in her theoretical matrix.

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Chapter Seven

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

I wish to point out, therefore, that from the beginning of life, on Freud's own hypothesis, the psyche responds to the reality of its experience by interpreting them—or, rather, by misinterpreting them—in a subjective manner that increases it pleasure and preserves it from pain. This act of a subjective interpretation of experience, which it carries out by means of the processes of introjection and projection, is called by Freud hallucination; and it forms the basis of what we mean by phantasy-life

(Riviere, 1936)

I have always insisted on the necessity of postulating the primary reality function of the primitive ego. Indeed, without such a postulate, there is nothing to prevent us falling into a primitive variety of mysticism

(Glover, quoted in King & Steiner, 1991, p. 399)

Summary

In this chapter, Dr Vorus gives a moving account of the Freud-Klein controversies and some of the historical and political tensions that led up to these fateful discussions. Ellman provides a brief commentary at the end of the chapter. The controversial discussions, in many ways, presaged debates that continued over the next several decades. The divisions that are depicted in this chapter did not allow for meaningful discussions across theoretical lines until the recent past (however one defines recent past).

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6. Freud's Dream Papers

Steven J. Ellman Karnac Books ePub

6

 

Freud's Dream Papers

The Employment of Dream Interpretation in Psycho-Analysis1

(1912)

The Zentralblatt für Psychoanalyse was not designed solely to keep its readers informed of the advances made in psychoanalytical knowledge, and itself to publish lesser contributions to the subject; but it aims also at presenting to the student a clear outline of what is already known, so that by means of suitable directions the beginner in analytical practice should be saved waste of time and effort. Henceforward, therefore, articles of a didactic nature and a technical content, not necessarily containing new matter, will appear in this Journal.

The question with which I now intend to deal is not that of the technique of dream-interpretation; neither the methods by which dreams may be interpreted nor the use of such interpretations when made will be considered, but merely the way in which the analyst should employ the art of dream-interpretation in the psychoanalytic treatment of patients. There are undoubtedly different ways of going to work in the matter, but then the answer to questions of technique in analysis is never a matter of course. Although there may perhaps be more than one good road to follow, still there are very many bad ones, and a comparison of the various methods can only be illuminating, even if it should not lead to a decision in favour of any particular one.

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