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

Solomon, Hester McFarland 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 One - An Oedipal Struggle towards Individuation

Elphis Christopher Karnac Books ePub

CHAPTER ONE

An oedipal struggle towards individuation

Eleanor Cowen

”…there appears before you on the psychological stage a man living regressively, seeking his childhood and his mother, fleeing from a cold cruel world which denies him understanding. Often a mother appears beside him who apparently shows not the slightest concern that her little son should become a man, but who, with tireless and self-immolating effort, neglects nothing that might hinder him from growing up and marrying. You behold the secret conspiracy between mother and son, and how each helps the other to betray life.

…There is in him a desire to touch reality, to embrace the earth and fructify the field of the world. But he makes no more than a series of fitful starts, for his initiative as well as his staying power are crippled by the secret memory that the world and happiness may be had as a gift—from the mother.…It makes demands on the masculinity of a man, on his ardour, above all on his courage and resolution when it comes to throwing his whole being into the scales. For this he would need a faithless Eros, one capable of forgetting his mother and undergoing the pain of relinquishing the first love of his life”

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

Solomon, Hester McFarland 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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Ethics in the psyche: ethics in the consulting room

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

This Part brings together three papers on professional ethics T and its sources in the acquisition of an ethical capacity of the self.

Chapter 11, “The ethical self”, shows how Jung's model of the psyche offers an understanding of how an ethical attitude develops personally and how the nature of the ethical attitude underpins analytic practice. Throughout the Collected Works, Jung stressed the centrality of moral and ethical values in psychotherapeutic treatment. The recognition and integration of the shadow is crucial to the self's capacity to develop and grow, to individuate and to fulfill the self's ethical nature.

It is argued that the ethical capacity is at least in part, innate, derived from the earliest, instinctually driven exchanges with the primary caregiver. The identification and internalization of the aga-paic function in the parental figures may catalyse a nascent ethical capacity in the young mind. The primitive acts of discriminating the bad and splitting it off from the psyche by projection into the caregivers, constitute the preconditions for the creation of the shadow, which eventually will require a further ethical action of reintegration.

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Chapter 10: Self creation in face of the void: the “as if” personality

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter I discuss a particular state of the self, which I think of as a defence of the self, and which I have come to call the “as if” personality. This derives from work I have done with a number of patients whom I have treated or supervised in intensive, long-term analytic work. I began to notice a recognizable pattern and shape to the psychic life and personal histories in patients who, despite often very disturbed backgrounds, including physiological and/or psychological neglect and abuse, nevertheless had managed to become high and valuable achievers in the outside world; creative people making substantial and valid contributions of quality and distinction to their profession or field of work. In order to do so, they had called up extraordinary internal reserves and resources that nevertheless were limited in nature by the very fact that their internal worlds were not populated by nourishing objects, leaving the self depleted. Thus, at a certain moment, either just before or during entering analysis (and it might be their second or third analysis), they became stricken with an overwhelming sense that whatever internal resources they had been able to find to sustain them along their developmental path had now been used up. The self had finally to face a long repressed but often suspected, underlying internal reality, a hauntingly ever-present background sense of living in a void or facing a vast emptiness; an absence devoid of those resources formally used to nourish and sustain the self. Instead, a primary existential anguish or panic, a sense that life was no longer sustainable on the basis that it had been lived, would often be accompanied by areal physical illness or dysfunction that put actual survival into question.

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