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3 Separating and splitting up

Thierry Bokanowski Karnac Books ePub

3

Penelope Garvey

In the final phase of her analysis, Mrs A., who had over the many years of her analysis managed to recover split-off aspects of herself, become more defined as a person, and was able to stand up for herself without feeling humiliated by being seen to have feelings and wants, became increasingly anxious about how she was going to survive the loss of the analysis and feared a return to a state of feeling nothing. She had the following dream:

The car was parked in the yard outside her parent's house. The car caught fire and, afraid that the fire would spread to the house, she called in the air force to bomb it.

Mrs A. bombed the car-which I thought stood for her caring, containing ego-in order to protect me and herself from knowing about versions of me in her mind that could take over and destroy the good feelings that she had about me and her analysis. The bombing broke up and fragmented her ego, propelled out her feelings, and left her feeling nothing. Much has been written about this kind of fragmentary splitting, its developmental origins, and its tendency to reappear in situations of stress. The bombing, as we shall see, occurred not only in her dream. Phantasies do affect reality, and Mrs A. returned to a state that I knew well from the past. Melanie Klein describes something similar:

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5 - Creative Construction

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5

Creative construction

Michèle Bertrand

My aim in this chapter is to demonstrate the usefulness of creative construction in analysis.

Creative construction needs to be distinguished from the commonly used technique referred to—since Freud's day—as “construction” or “reconstruction” (Bertrand, 2008).

Before I develop the topic of construction and reconstruction, it is worth recalling that analysis is primarily about deconstruction. It is there in the very etymology of the word analysis—analuein: to untie, to undo, to separate out the parts from the whole.

Analysis starts out by deconstructing dream formations and symptomatic formations. The initial objective is not to construct something—a meaning, a narrative, a patient history—but, rather, to unravel all-too-neatly packaged narratives, removing layers of defensiveness and auto-mystification and bringing to light that which has been masked, obscured, placed out of reach of the conscious mind. As the therapy progresses, however, the psychoanalyst does create certain constructions, for him/herself and, perhaps, for the analysand.

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4 - Constructions and Historicization

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4

Constructions and historicization

Abel Fainstein

It is my opinion—which other authors share—that in a good part of the present psychoanalytic practice, constructions, as they were put forward by Freud in his case histories and later in “Constructions in Analysis” (Freud, 1937d), have lost the central importance they originally had.

I believe that the less frequent use of constructions following the Freudian model could be connected to inter-disciplinary contributions with regard to culture, which emphasizes the predominance of the present over the past and, in this sense, of memory over history (Hartog, 2009).

In this way, memory—that is, remembering, acting-out within the transference, and the analysis of dreams within the analytic treatment—has in part come to replace history and, in consequence, constructions, as one of the instruments available to analysts.

In addition, in our present clinical practice, there has been a drift in the original Freudian description of constructions, which could be described as follows:

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5 The splitting of the ego and virtual reality

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5

Julio Moreno

1

It is advisable to discuss first the concepts of splitting of the ego and virtual reality separately, for besides having been coined in dissimilar contexts, they refer to different phenomena. I will then ponder their relationship.

The “splitting of the ego” is a notion that appears late in Freud's theory. He himself admits in his 1938 posthumous text that this late incorporation into his theory may have been a mistake. “The whole process [of splitting and disavowal] seems so strange to us because we take for granted the synthetic nature of the processes of the ego. But we are clearly at fault in this. The synthetic function of the ego, though it is of such extraordinary importance, is subject to particular conditions and is liable to a whole number of disturbances” (Freud, 1940e [1938], p. 276; emphasis added).

As I understand it, “being at fault” may refer here to the fact that in the inceptions of his theory, Freud defended somewhat fervently the idea of the oneness of the ego against those who spoke of its multiplicity. At the turn of the nineteenth century, studies in psychopathology (e.g., those by Janet, Binet, and Breuer himself) were permeated by terms such as “split personality”, “double consciousness”, and “separate psychical groups”. According to Janet, for instance, the splitting of the psyche into different associative groups is conceived of as a secondary regrouping of a psychic world that has disintegrated due to a primary associative weakness (Laplanche & Pontalis, 1967).

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CHAPTER TWO. Concepts in contemporary psychoanalytic practice

Thierry Bokanowski Karnac Books ePub

There is at present a considerable number of techniques that claim to be able to cure mental suffering and even pride themselves on that fact—hypnosis, Gestalt therapy, Dasein therapy, transactional analysis, micro-psychoanalysis, primal scream, re-birthing, non-analytic relaxation, cognitive and behavioural psychotherapies, etc., to name but a few.

On what grounds can we argue that there exists a crucial difference between psychoanalysis as we know it and these other techniques that all claim to be psychotherapeutic? Unlike any of these, psychoanalysis is the only psychotherapeutic method that, after recognizing the fundamental significance of the Unconscious in the organization of the human mind, invented a specific technique for investigating that Unconscious and its manifest expressions with the help of the conscious and interactive part of the individual. The technique is based on the tendency to repeat inherent in all mental processes, as well as on an essential feature of the instinctual drives: the opportunity to displace cathexes on to new objects.

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