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7. Cleopatra's monument

Williams, Meg Harris Karnac Books ePub

Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat… we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Peter II.3.12-13

There is a qualitative aspect of sincerity that has to do with richness of emotion. Clinical work strongly suggests that this aspect of the adult character is bound up with the richness of emotion characterizing the internal objects. It can be distinguished from other qualities such as their strength or goodness. It is different from their strength or integration. It seems perhaps most coextensive with their beauty, which in turn seems related to capacity for compassion.

Donald Meltzer1

Shakespeare’s search for “the noblest Roman of them all”—idealized in Brutus, undermined in Hamlet, begun again in Lear, incomplete in Othello, eventually finds fulfilment in Antony, the archetypal pattern of the heroic or great-souled magnanimous man.2 And his magnanimity finds its ultimate expression in the achievement of a marriage of homophrosyne, like Odysseus—an equal love. It is the “new heaven, new earth” heralded in the Bible and referred to by Antony, half-jokingly, at the opening of the play when Cleopatra demands to know “how much” love he has for her:

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17: The child psychotherapist and the patient’s family

Bick, Esther; Harris, Martha Harris Meltzer Trust ePub


Practical matters of setting and communication are first considered, then attention is paid to underlying unconscious communications between family and therapist, clarifying the role of therapy as something that supports rather than interfering with the child’s relationship with his parents. The process of transferring anxieties and working in the transference is described by means of two clinical cases (a ten-year-old boy and a sixteen-year-old girl), followed by one example of consultation with parents and child in which the therapist’s role is specifcally “to help the parents use the unrivalled experience they have of their own child.”

Those of us who work with children are more dependent on the co-operation of the patient’s family than is the adult therapist as a rule. If the patient is a young child it is usually the mother, sometimes the father, who has to bring the child to treatment; the older child or adolescent still needs parental backing and encouragement at times to continue during difcult periods.

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CHAPTER FIVE Close looking

Stokes, Adrian Harris Meltzer Trust PDF


Close looking

Piero’s perspective: art and science i


iero [della Francesca] achieved equation between true science and a majestic rapture from the earth. We sense geometry and number expressing the amplitude of love: we witness an untorn naturalism: a universal myth that is apart.

Love and the love of perspective were one, the perspective, for instance, of tilted circular shapes expressed with the slow piety of very exact drawing. Yes, piety, but more than piety, far more than the Gothic bent for the encrusted curve of a gold nimbus, inspired the correspondence that is broad and temperate between his volumes. We have from him the widest vistas and therein the equal simultaneous constancy of things; a stillness that is not archaic, a fullness without boast, a massive selfcontentment in the very stream of adult life. But he delighted also to show the virtuosity, as it were, of his rooted shapes in his fondness of temporary structures or of any such apparatus to whose related forms he could, like the dying sun on an autumn

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3: Bion’s conception of a psychoanalytical attitude

Bick, Esther; Harris, Martha Harris Meltzer Trust ePub


An obituary appreciation of the work of Bion, focussing on the implications of “introducing the patient to himself” and the cultural infancy of thinking processes.

In considering Bion’s contribution to clinical work, much could be said of how he used and extended, in his own inimitable way, some of the theories of Freud and of Melanie Klein in so far as he found that they illuminated the observations which he was able to make in the consulting room: thus carrying on the great tradition in psychoanalysis. A number of people have been studying his work at the Tavistock Clinic in the past few years with Donald Meltzer, and this has been expounded in the third volume of The Kleinian Development (1978).

I would like to select what is, for me, the most inspiring and liberating aspect of his conception of psychoanalysis. Although he believed that there is no substitute for undergoing an analytic experience in the sequestered but turbulent milieu of the consulting room, if one is bent upon exploring the mysteries of one’s personality, Bion sees the discipline of psychoanalysis for analyst and patient alike, as aspiring to continue that great tradition of thinking in art, science and philosophy, which investigates not only the nature of the world in which we live, of human beings in that world, but also the mind of the observer, the thinker himself. The following quotation is from the last of the lecture/discussions he gave in New York in 1977. It follows upon some query about the way to approach a dying patient. Bion is aware that in a sense we are all terminally ill, and the problem is how to learn to best use the unpredictable time that we have available:

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2 - Instinct and Evolution

Money-Kyrle, Roger Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

The strength of any rational belief is determined, not only by the direct evidence for it, but also by the degree of its conformity with the general body of the rest of our beliefs. We are chary of accepting apparent miracles, however well attested, so long as they conflict with our scientific picture of the world. And for the same reason, psychoanalytic generalisations, in spite of the accumulating evidence in their support, are often rejected on a priori grounds. If this is the result of a ‘resistance’, analysts are still not absolved from the task of showing that their analytic beliefs are at least compatible with the general body of those other scientific beliefs which they also hold. I shall try to go further and argue that much analytic theory is not only compatiblewith, but derives some antecedent probability from, our beliefs about biology. In this chapter I want, in particular, to show that what we know of our evolution should lead us to expect our instincts and our conflicts to be such as analysts claim to find in us, whether we are conscious of them or not.

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