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Chapter Twelve: The Power of Negative Thinking

John Marzillier Karnac Books ePub


The power of negative thinking

The inspiration provided by Dorothy Rowe's talk led me to her other writings, in particular her book, The Construction of Life and Death, a theoretical analysis of the beliefs human beings hold about the world. Fundamental beliefs such as those about the meaning of life and death are, according to Rowe, metaphysical not rational. A belief in God for example is a statement of faith; no amount of evidence will shake it. This was brought home to me vividly a few years ago when I was on a visit to Egypt with my family. We were shown around the Valley of the Kings by an urbane and cultured guide, Rifaat, who had previously worked in Egypt's Office of Antiquities. The indefatigable Rifaat was immensely knowledgeable about Egyptian culture. An intelligent and excellent teacher, he even taught us the basics of hieroglyphics. When we were there, a tsunami devastated Thailand and other Asian countries. More than 200,000 people died. Innocent people going about their daily business. How, I thought, is this compatible with a just god? I asked Rifaat what he thought. Why had this happened? Was it God's will? Yes, he said simply. They must have done something to deserve to be punished. His belief in God was not shaken by natural disasters or evidence of other awful events that had no apparent purpose. It was central, a given, an axiom from which everything else flowed. As believers are wont to say, God works in mysterious ways. We mere humans cannot always fathom His purpose.

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Medium 9781855758773

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: What the amygdala, hippocampus, and ECN teach clinical psychoanalysis

Fred M. Levin Karnac Books ePub

Fred Levin

It seems appropriate, before delving into further psychoanalytical clinical recommendations, to review some recent research on the limbic system, particularly the amygdala and the hippocampus (and some closely related structures) since these appear to contribute decisively to our processing of emotions, a subject near and dear to psychoanalysis. One issue to be aware of, however, is that neuroscience scholars currently differ on what is properly included in the limbic system anatomically (Ledoux, 1996). Therefore many will wish to learn more about such details, as follows.

Let me begin with a fascinating article on Phineas Gage (Damasio, Grabowski, Frank, Galaburda, & Damasio, 1994), the colorful railroad worker of the last century who was unlucky enough to have a explosion blow a hole in his head and yet to survive! Since Gage’s damaged skull was donated posthumously to Harvard Medical School, Damasio and colleagues used various means to study Gage’s brain, and confirmed that Gage’s injury most certainly involved damage to the ventral medial frontal lobe of his brain. This supports the view that it was ventral medial frontal lobe damage that played a role in Gage’s post injury personality changes, including his trouble attending and his tendency towards socially inappropriate behavior. Such behavioral–anatomical correlations can prove decisive in verifying hypotheses regarding neurological functional units.

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CHAPTER FOUR Visions of self in Julius Caesar

Dorothy T. Grunes Karnac Books PDF


Visions of self in Julius Caesar


his Roman play by William Shakespeare is referred to as his first mature tragedy and is only half the length of Hamlet. It was written and performed in 1599 (Platter, 1599, pp. 139–161), and is the play that Shakespeare chose to open the Globe Theatre. The plot appears simple and direct. There is little humour by contemporary or even Elizabethan standards. It is a drama dominated by men and in which its only two women are not listened to, and are both refused.

There are gruesome murders and suicides performed on the stage. It is not just a play of action, as there are poetic passages and fine lines, perhaps none more famous than Antony’s funeral oration. These words and phrases entered our language and remain there, such as “Et tu,

Brute”, “the dogs of war”, and “cowards die many times, the valiant but once”. There are omens, supernatural storms, dreams, and even a visitation from a ghost; shades of what was to come in both Hamlet, and Macbeth. The ending cleanly resolves the conflicts raised in the play. It is no wonder that educators use this play as an introduction to Shakespeare. When the senior author first read it in the seventh grade it seemed a “blood and guts” thriller. It was only later in life with re-reading, and seeing film and stage versions that the drama revealed its psychological depth. While Hamlet demands much of the audience


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Medium 9781855753372

PART III: Letter to Bernard Accoyer and to enlightened opinion

Bernard Burgoyne Karnac Books ePub



Paris, Monday 17 November 2003

Truly, guided by a good bird I never was.

Du Bellay

Why should it be, monsieur le député, that I have something to say to you? What common language can we speak? How are we to hear one another? And what is there between you and me?

You need to be answered, however; you yourself are the one who is forcing me to do so. Had you merely expressed your wariness of psychoanalysts, I would have let you be: but you mean also to regulate psychoanalysis, and you claim to evaluate its practitioners; the representatives of the nation have fallen in behind you in their entirety; and the more authority you have among men, the less it is permitted that I silence myself when you mean to compromise psychoanalytic discourse and enchain those who serve it.


On Saturday 25 October, the front page of the newspaper Libération gave the alert to the entire ‘psy’ population and threw it into a state of alarm.

Éric Favereau had told me of the existence of your amendment two days before. In response, I had entrusted to him a page of mockery, singling out the latest avatar of the ‘Strategist-State’, and promising evaluation to the evalu-ators, in the tradition of he who is hoisted by his own petard. As chance had it, the psychoanalytic association to which I belong, the École de la Cause freudienne, was then holding its annual study days at the Palais des Congrès, dedicated this year to the clinic of the short session. The corridors were buzzing with nothing but this news. The ordinary general meeting of the École, which was taking place on the evening of that same day, adopted an unequivocal position.

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Afterword - Graeme Summers

Graeme Summers Karnac Books ePub

Graeme Summers

As this book draws to a close I feel both appreciative and relieved. Playing with ideas has always been a source of pleasure for me, expressed mostly through reading, conversation and, in various forms, teaching. I am, however, much more ambivalent about writing. With some degree of predictability, I have often found my creative flow interspersed with frustrated attempts to find the right, or even approximately right, words. So I am both proud and relieved to be sharing my concluding thoughts. I am also deeply appreciative of everyone who has been directly and indirectly involved in bringing this project to fruition.

For me transactional analysis is not just a theory, it is also a community, which I have now been part of for over thirty years. In that time, conferences, training and supervision networks, professional examinations, committees, peer groups and publications have all provided touch points for people to connect, influence and witness each other as colleagues and often as friends. This has been, and still is, important to me.

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Greenacre, Phyllis Karnac Books ePub

CLINICAL discussions concerning an intellectually retarded boy of four, who had been severely and frequently tied up by his mother were the stimulating source for this study. Questions were raised concerning the relation between the severe prolonged restraint and the intellectual impairment, and whether therapeutic unshackling of the child might also initiate a comparable intellectual freeing. Such cases are not uncommon in outpatient clinics, and the more dramatic ones find their way ‘ into press reports. Clinical reports are in general singularly naive and overoptimistic. It is probable that in many such cases the restraint was actually enforced partly because of the child’s original impairment rather than the opposite, and that subsequently the two factors of original intellectual deficit plus severe restraint act together to the child’s further detriment.

The term restraint is a broad one. But in all forms of restraint there is the common situation that the free response (usually partly motor) of which the subject is capable is not permitted. Restraint may be applied through physical means as in binding the child’s body or shutting him up, or through psychic channels by the use of threats, warnings, and prohibitions.

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CHAPTER FOUR: Grandmother’s footsteps

Prophecy Coles Karnac Books ePub

In the Preface, I recounted a dream that a patient had brought me, in his penultimate session, about going to his grandmother’s house for a meal. I had failed to recognize that he might have been telling me that his nurturing grandmother had been remembered and restored through our work together. At the time, I had never thought that there might be a significant grandparent within the internal world of the developing grandchild that might lie unrecognized. I had certainly not given much thought to the unconscious influence of my grandparents on my emotional development.

When Freud’s father died in 1896, Freud has told us that it left him in a state of confusion and guilt, as he struggled to give meaning to the influence that his father had upon his psychic life. What impact did his father’s death have upon Freud’s fathering of his own children, and how did his children react to the loss of their grandfather and to Freud’s grief (Masson, 1985)?

We know Freud reacted with anxiety to the death of his own grandfather from an anxiety dream he recounts in The Interpretation of Dreams, which he thinks he had when he was about seven or eight years old. He dreams of “My beloved mother, with a peculiarly, peaceful, sleeping expression on her features, being carried into the room by two (or three) people with bird’s beaks and laid upon the bed”. In one of his associations to the dream he says, “The expression on my mother’s features in the dream was copied from the view I had had of my grandfather a few days before his death as he lay snoring in a coma” (Freud, 1900a, p. 583).

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CHAPTER SEVEN: Relationship and relatedness between the elementary school as a system and its violent parts

W Gordon Lawrence Karnac Books ePub

Hanna Biran

During a period of six months, from January to June 1997, I directed a workshop under the aegis of the Israeli Ministry of Education. I met once a week with a group of professionals, eight of whom were educational psychologists and the other eight educational consultants. They represented sixteen different schools from the central districts of Israel, mainly from areas experiencin economic and cultural stress. The professionals willingly chose to attend the workshop in order to enhance their skills in dealing with violence at school. Eight people, from each discipline, were selected in order to enable a dialogue and mutual learning. These two professions are crucial for schools, and a lot of pressure from both teachers and parents is put on them. The primary task was to explore the phenomenon of violence in schools and to find new ways for dealing with it. The primary task was defined before the beginning of the workshop and was sent in a letter to all participants.

The workshop methodology

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7 Women’s Self-Reported Mental Health in Accra, Ghana

Emmanuel Akyeampong Indiana University Press ePub


IN RECENT YEARS, interest in international comparisons of health across populations has grown considerably. So has interest in the concept of global health and the concern with measuring a country’s progress towards set targets, especially the Millennium Development Goals. The key assumption in tracking international progress towards such targets is that information on health can be collected in similar ways and compared on similar scales across countries. This makes good sense when dealing with objective measures such as height, weight, and blood pressure, but it becomes more questionable when dealing with conditions that are subjective, socially shameful, difficult to assess with simple physical examinations, and possibly intermittent or recurring. Most mental health disorders fall into this last category.

Nonetheless, a substantial literature has grown up around how best to compare self-reported health states, both physical and mental (Üstün et al. 2010). This literature addresses the development of reliable instruments and the introduction of better measuring approaches. These approaches include the replacement of categorical variables with visual analog scales and applying standardization techniques, including the “anchoring vignettes” for standardization used in several studies supported by the World Health Organization (Salomon, Tandon, and Murray 2004). The comparisons of test and self-report data around the world have largely focused on physical measures, often with confusing findings on the links between the two (Ploubidis and Grundy 2011; Halabi et al. 1992; Lawlor et al. 2002; Louie and Ward 2010; Zurayk et al. 1995). Many studies have found major discrepancies and inconsistencies in both level and distribution of outcomes, even when comparing so-called objective measures with self-reports on the same family of conditions. The conclusion to be drawn is that health states have several dimensions, and although many of them are complementary, it is difficult to collapse them all into any single summary measure.

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8. Assessment of the Newborn

T. Berry Brazelton Karnac Books ePub

If we accept the notion of the newborn as an active participant in early interaction, the careful assessment of an individual infant should help us to understand the infant’s side of the dialogue. Also, any professional who wants to support early attachment will find it useful to illuminate the nature and capacities of the baby for the parents.

A newborn’s behavior will have already been shaped for nine months in the uterus. We need to be aware of the powerful influences on fetal development of acute infections, toxins, and maternal bleeding, as well as more prolonged intrauterine influences such as nutrition, hormones, medication, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and even of maternal activity and attitudes. Although many of these factors can affect the developing brain, the nervous system of the fetus is mar-velously plastic and may have recovered from an insult and appear to function normally. Nevertheless, with careful observation, subtle “soft” signs, such as hypersensitive behavioral responses or problems in state organization, may show up which call for special vigilance and care.

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Chapter Fifteen: David Tuckett (United Kingdom)

Kerry L Malawista Karnac Books ePub


David Tuckett is a fellow and training analyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London, professor of psychoanalysis at University College London (UCL), and the director of UCL's Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty. Trained in economics, medical sociology, and psychoanalysis, he is a former president of the European Psychoanalytic Federation (EPF), chair of the EPF's Comparative Clinical Methods Working Party, editor in chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and winner of the Sigourney Award for Psychoanalysis. His most recent book, Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability, opens new psychoanalytically based ways of thinking about economics and finance.


Present: David Tuckett (DT), Kerry Malawista (KM), Bob Winer (BW)

David Tuckett, a London analyst since 1977, arrived for our interview in tennis whites, already dressed for his match later that afternoon. While the majority of psychoanalysts come to the profession from medicine, psychology, or social work, Dr Tuckett's start was in the field of economics, which may account for the discipline and precision he brings to his clinical work.

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CHAPTER EIGHT: Ethical principles in conducting research with children and adolescents

Judith Trowell Karnac Books ePub

Ethical principles in conducting
research with children and adolescents

Euthymia D. Hibbs Ph.D.

“…..The regimen I adopt (medicine) shall be for the benefit of my patients according to my ability and judgment, and not for their hurt or for any wrong. I will give no deadly drug to any, though it be asked of me, nor will counsel such…. Whatsoever house I enter, there I will go for the benefit of the sick, refraining from all wrong doing, or corruption, and especially from any act of seduction, of male or female, or bond or free. Whatsoever things I see or hear concerning the life of men, in my attendance on the sick or even apart there from, which ought not to be noised abroad, I will keep silence thereon, counting such things to be as sacred secrets.”

—The Hippocratic Oath (460 BC).

The need to deliver treatments to patients ethically has concerned health care providers and scientists for over 2000 years. As in 460 BC, current health professionals and specifically investigators confront the same ethical issues. In recent years, research ethics has achieved a higher profile as a result of the emphasis on human rights, and because of well-publicized breaches of research ethics at some prominent institutions. The fundamental principle of modern research focuses on respecting human dignity, which aspires to protect the multiple and interdependent interests of the person from bodily to psychological to cultural integrity (Tricouncil Ethics Statement, 1998). Thus, respect for human dignity entails confidentiality, concern for the welfare of the consumer, the proper handling of human participants, and restraint from exploiting patients or their relatives, when working with research participants.

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CHAPTER SIX: Marco: a story of a school relationship

Jane Desmarais Karnac Books ePub

Maria Antionetta Catena

I have been working in a school in Rome for a number of years. The current class assigned to me comprises twenty 7-year-old children. The school timetable is organized around eight hours a day of work and play. I teach on alternate mornings and afternoons, four hours at a time, sharing the day with Anna, a colleague of mine. We do not work at weekends. A relationship of mutual esteem and friendship has developed between Anna and I. This has been partly facilitated by Anna and I attending a Tavistock-based course in Rome. Although Anna teaches Italian and I mathematics, we adopt similar values in our teaching approaches.

Meeting Marco

I met Marco before meeting the rest of the children, as he was introduced to me just before school officially began the new academic year. Marco was a pale-looking boy with a sweet face, a markedly hooked nose, and a tuft of blond hair. He was extremely thin and wore baggy trousers with a high waist. They were supported by braces, which made him look a little like Charlie Chaplin. On the first day of term, I found him standing in the hall alone by a door, gazing down. He was wearing new clothes and clutching the straps of his rucksack. I called to him by name, welcoming him and telling him that I would see him shortly. He had been the last one to arrive in the hall, where the children were being divided into classes. His mother was with him, and she pushed him towards his class group. Before she left, she whispered to me: “He was waiting in the classroom … he didn’t realize that everyone was gathering in here.” Marco lined up with the other children, and we went to the classroom. We all introduced ourselves to each other. Later the children began drawing, and the emotional impact of starting at school after the three-month summer holiday was clearly a powerful one. During the first break, Marco laid a placemat in front of him and began nibbling a small cake. All of a sudden he stood up and was sick. Anna took him by the hand to the bathroom, but he kept being sick in the corridor and then on the bathroom floor, making a mess of his new shoes and trousers. I remained with the rest of the children; there was an acrid smell in the air. The children all stopped eating: they seemed frozen and looked at me silently with serious, worried faces. Despite my having opened the windows, there was still a strong smell of vomit in the classroom. I joined Anna and Marco in the bathroom, where Anna had washed him and was now busy cleaning his shoes. Marco said to me that it was all right—this had often happened to him at nursery school. He drank a little water, and we went back together to the classroom. On his desk there was still his nibbled snack. I asked him what he wanted to do with it. He replied, “I shall take it home”, and he then carefully folded up his placemat, put it in his rucksack, and sat quietly at his desk. He never once asked for his mother.

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Chapter Eight: Injuries

Ricardo A. Rubinstein Karnac Books ePub

Injuries are part of what normally happens in the course of an athlete's career. They have their origin in traumatological mechanisms and there are also psychological reasons that account for them. Both of these factors interact, since we are a psychosomatic unit, in such a way that a permanent interaction exists between what happens in our psychic life and what consequently takes place in our body, just as what happens in our body will impact on our psyche.

There normally exists a harmony, an integration between the psychic and the somatic, which can be affected in the extreme in those cases that we refer to as psychosomatic illnesses. They are usually related to persons who have difficulty in verbally expressing their emotions. This characteristic, together with a certain constitutional tendency, leads to the channelling of emotional conflicts within the body.

The muscular-skeletal system is an athlete's working tool. It will therefore be the area with the highest degree of exposure or weariness. In addition, when there are tensions, pain and emotional conflicts, this system will be a privileged area for these characteristics to settle and express themselves.

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4. children of primary school age

Martin Hollins Karnac Books ePub


The pace of change in 5- to 11-year-olds is less rapid than in their early years—thankfully so, most parents would admit. It is nevertheless substantial, though in ways that are usually less obvious. Often there are periods when children just seem to be consolidating advances made earlier.

To take the most obvious feature first: they do change physically, but much more slowly than in the early years. At the end of this period, many will begin another big change, that of puberty, which we will consider in the next chapter.

There are significant changes in children’s thinking abilities at this stage, and this is well illustrated in the way the school curriculum changes from Years 1 to 6. In infant school, there is much support given to the child’s emotional and social development and to developing communication skills with language and numeracy. Classroom activities consist of straightforward, concrete tasks such as counting and spelling. The wider world is explored through activities that engage the senses directly and may look more like play than instruction.

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