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Chapter 7: The self in transformation: the passage from a two- to a three-dimensional internal world

Hester McFarland Solomon Karnac Books ePub

Whether we call it individuation, development, or psychological change, the idea of the transformation of the self is central to the analytic endeavour. But what is transformation? And how shall we think of the self that is in the process of transformation? What is happening when transformation is impeded? It is axiomatic that patients come into analysis because they seek to develop and transform their inner and often their outer environment. They attend more or less intensively over a considerable period of time in the face of often the most arduous circumstances and pitched resistances, both internal and external, surrendering themselves to a process that is in every respect experienced and expressed in immediate, questing, intense, and ardent ways. This passion for change that brings the patient faithfully to the consulting room can quickly turn into its opposite, into another order of experience, that can feel to us more like a passion to destroy, dismember, and diminish or detach from the analytic work that has taken place, robbing the patient of the fruits of the potential transformations that the patient along with the analyst had worked for so assiduously.

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Chapter 1: The self in transformation: the analyst in transformation

Hester McFarland Solomon Karnac Books ePub

This current volume of papers written and collected during the course of some twenty years of clinical and professional activity represents a work in progress of a Jungian analyst, trained in London, deeply identified with a Jungian approach to the psyche and its ongoing development, who at the same time is open and responsive to influences of other contemporary Jungian and psychoanalytic thinking and development. In fact, what strikes me as I reflect with hindsight on the process of gathering these papers into a format which will, I hope, convey structure as well as a view of the development of a clinical and theoretical reflection, is that it follows a path of connected points of reflection that was not envisaged as I alighted at each stage on a topic that gripped me at the time. Looking back, however, it is possible to perceive that this series of clinical and theoretical reflections represents an ongoing enquiry into the nature of psychological change, growth, and development, which is at the heart of the clinical work of depth psychologists.

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Chapter 2: The transcendent function and Hegel's dialectical vision

Hester McFarland Solomon Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter I will trace Jung's concept of the transcendent I function back to its philosophical roots in the notion of dialectical change, first expounded by the German Romantic philosopher Frederick Hegel (1770-1831).

Hegel expounded his dialectical model at a particular time and place in European history, in Germany, at the time of the Romantic revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, a time of enormous social, political and economic change. It formed an essential core of important twentieth-century European philosophical traditions, such as phenomenology and its derivatives, as well as the version of psychoanalysis developed by Lacan and his followers in France.

Hegel's dialectical model is a schema for understanding how change happens throughout all living systems; essentially, it is about the development of self-consciousness as it unfolds both internally and in individuals, in what he calls the World Spirit (Geist). He finds a parallel in Jung's theory of how the individual develops a sense of identity or selfhood over time through the interplay between inner and outer, and between collective and personal psychological contents, both located at conscious and unconscious levels. Hegel expounded a philosophy that reflects a deep structural view of the world (Hegel, 1807a; 1812-1816; 1817; 1820). It has had a profound effect on the thinking of those schooled in European culture since the nineteenth century. Hegel's dialectical vision reflects an understanding of fundamental truths, including psychological truths, concerning reality, and how the self is brought into being and attainsits fullest actualization through the interaction between self-consciousness and consciousness of an other. Both Hegel and Jung expounded models that are concerned with those deeply embedded, inherited structures and dynamic processes that underlie the ways in which we perceive ourselves and our reality, and the ways in which we become the individuals we are. Both employ an archetypal model of the self expressed in terms of an image of wholeness, achieved through successive conflict-ridden steps towards individuation and integration.

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Chapter Eight - Psychotherapy as a Two-Way Process

Elphis Christopher Karnac Books ePub

CHAPTER EIGHT

Psychotherapy as a two-way process

Nathan Field

Introduction

Psychoanalysis was invented just over a century ago by Freud and Breuer, both of whom were doctors. Inevitably the analytic relationship became based on the time-honoured doctor–patient relationship, which assumes that the doctor is healthy and the patient is sick. Analysis likewise presupposes a mentally healthy, well-analysed psychoanalyst engaged in the treatment of a mentally ill, unanalysed, patient. It assumes, furthermore, that just as the doctor knows more than the patient about the functioning of the patient's body, so the analyst knows more about the patient's mind.

While this is a reasonable assumption, a hundred years of clinical experience has increasingly exposed the medical model as not quite fitting the psychological facts. As analyses have become progressively longer, and probed more deeply into unconscious, inter-subjective, processes, the relation between the two parties is seen to be rather less unequal. Indeed I would argue that a long therapeutic relationship, at least in its culminating phases, becomes rather more of a reciprocal healing process. If this is the case, then we may be advised to view the whole analytic relationship from a somewhat different perspective.

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Chapter 4: The developmental school in analytical psychology

Hester McFarland Solomon Karnac Books ePub

Analytical psychology as elaborated by Jung and his immediate followers did not focus on the depth psychological aspects of early infant and childhood development. Freud and his followers made the imaginative leap required to link the two pivotal areas of analytic investigation—the early stages of development and how such states of mind may manifest in adult patients on the one hand, and the nature and varieties of transference and countertransference in the analytic relationship on the other— and to include them in psychoanalytic theory. Analytical psychology was slow to follow suit, despite Jung's early and continued insistence on the importance of the relationship between analyst and patient, and his study of the Rosarium (Jung, 1966) as a way of understanding the vicissitudes of the analytic couple.

For Jung and the group that had formed around him, the rich and attractive field of creative and symbolic activity and collective and cultural pursuits appeared to be more engaging. Nevertheless, in certain respects it could be said that creative psychic activity, as well as its destructive and distressing aspects, could be located within two pivotal areas of investigation, and could be seen rightfully to belong to the examination of the relationship between primary process (that is, the earlier, more primitive mental processes with infantile foundations) and the later secondary mental processes.

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