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8: THE SUPEREGO AND THE EGO-IDEAL

Herbert A. Rosenfeld Karnac Books ePub

SINCE the aim of this symposium is to discuss both the ego-ideal and the superego, I shall first attempt to clarify the way in which these terms have been employed by Freud, and then discuss my own understanding of the terminology and how it is used in this paper. The term ‘superego’ was introduced as an alternative to the term ‘ego-ideaP by Freud in 1923 with the implication that the ego-ideal and the superego were identical. On the other hand, the term ‘ego-ideal’ which Freud originally introduced (1914b) had an entirely different meaning. At that time he differentiated the ego-ideal from a special psychical agency, the conscience, relating the ego-ideal to the ‘narcissistic perfection of childhood and suggesting that this ideal was a substitute for the lost narcissism in which we were our own ideal. This explanation would suggest a connexion between the ego-ideal and omnipotent fantasies of early infancy when the baby fantasies himself in the role of an omnipotent ideal figure, or as possessing an ideal object or part-object, often the breast or the penis. We frequently find that narcissistic patients have a highly idealized omnipotent picture of themselves which is in contrast to their real self. I am not in favour of using the term ‘ego-ideal’ for these specific narcissistic idealized fantasies.

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Medium 9781855753549

CHAPTER SIX: Parents and siblings

Jonna Jepsen Karnac Books ePub

Parents

We must take parents seriously. They have often noticed things about their children that we cannot detect in an examination.

Hanne Agerholm (2003)

Parents of prematurely born children have as disadvantaged an introduction to the parental role as the children have had a disturbed start to life. A very premature birth is a shock. The shock is just the first phase of the crisis situation into which the parents are often plunged. It does not always follow the classic pattern of shock: reaction, acceptance, assimilation, action. It can be chaotic, and the shock can be so paralysing that a reaction only appears months later. The many chaotic emotions that overwhelm one will often be fear, emptiness, powerlessness, guilt, shame, anger, compassion, love, frustration, gratitude, hope, and sorrow. One loses self-control, and the normal, self-assured way of life: action and competence; one is on bare ground in no-man’s-land.

The original meaning of the word “crisis” was development, but in the case of premature birth, development can be a very hard road to follow.

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Medium 9781855755925

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: The de-being of the analyst

Cottet, Serge Karnac Books ePub

Freud, during his final period, refers to the Symposium once again in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, in relation to his theory of the union between Eros and the death drive, undermining the idea that the Symposium is merely a precursor of Christian asceticism (p. 58, note 1).2 His references to Socrates, although few in number, give us a sense of a continuity between Socrates and the analyst. In both cases, the signifier of death is at play in the definition of desire: Freud’s “realism” does not hide from us his conception that death is the master signifier of analysis. Just as what lies beyond the phenomena of repetition can be considered as a good criterion for the end of analysis, it would also be reasonable to ask what is the relation between two different concepts of death, or rather, of life. One of them tends towards inertia and repetition, and the other towards death as the principle of an erratic and metonymic desire, a desire for “something else”.

A life whose meaning is not ultimately determined by death is, in Freud’s opinion, of no more interest than, in Goethe’s words, “a succession of fair days” (cited by Freud in Civilization and its Discontents, p. 76). The desire for immortality that characterizes obsessional neurosis is a desire for death, since, according to Lacan, the obsessional identifies with the dead master (see Écrits, p. 258). Certain texts of Freud’s about death lend support to the theory that there is a strong affinity between neurotic repression and the negation of death.

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Medium 9781855756410

31. Hsien / Influence (Wooing)

Peggy Jones Karnac Books ePub

above Tu i / The Joyous, Lake

below Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain

above Ch'ien / The Creative, Heaven

below Sun / The Gentle, Wind, Wood

As soon as we are born our ability to influence others will determine how and if we survive. If our signals of need are responded to with recognition and care, then we are likely to experience both a sense of relief and perhaps even a primitive form of gratitude. If, on the other hand, our early attempts to recruit necessary attention are continually met with impatience, harshness, or indifference, the experience of relationship may be shaped by fear and suspiciousness and enacted through power struggles rather than mutuality. The development of self-esteem and the capacity to represent ourselves effectively in the ‘outside’ world have their roots in these earliest experiences.

The dynamic represented by this hexagram is, in effect, driven by desire, but mutuality - the benefit gained from give-and-take -is also suggested. The youngest daughter, Tui, is being courted by the youngest son, Kên. The image suggests a relatively uncomplicated and happy romantic and erotic engagement. Although it is not necessarily an enduring union, this is what is said to ‘make the world go round’. The theme of benevolent influence arises from the images associated with the primary trigrams, that is, the Mountain with a lake at its summit. The Lake is seen to benefit or stimulate the mountain because it provides moisture for all creatures who live there, and the Mountain is seen to benefit the lake because it attracts clouds that fill the lake with rain. In addition, the gentle ‘willingness’ of the mountain to sacrifice its peak so that the lake can form and reflect Heaven gives another focus for reflecting on how, at its best, influence works to the benefit of all.

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Medium 9781782202790

Chapter Eleven - Workable Transference

Vamik D. Volkan Karnac Books ePub

After returning from Philadelphia, Attis behaved as if he were born again. But an external event would make him anxious that his newborn “self” would be treated like the original one who had been under the shadow of his early mother. In the waiting room before one of his sessions, he overheard several office personnel speaking about my having a new baby girl. I was married during my first year of psychiatric residency in Chapel Hill and what Attis overheard was true. I had never mentioned to him that I was married and he had not known of my wife's pregnancy. Without meaning to do so, the office personnel had provided him with a readymade suitable event to trigger memories of his earlier life history. Instead of becoming fragmented and involved in exaggerated defensive internalisation–externalisation cycles, Attis’ examination of his early life experiences this time looked like an examination of similar issues by a person with higher-level personality organisation.

In the session after Attis found out about my new baby, he repeatedly referred to my newborn, calling her “him”, although he was aware that the child was female. Attis also reminded me of how amused he had been during his visit to his older brother, only four years his senior, when his brother had several times called him “son”. I sensed that he was behaving as if he were my newborn child; he was being “born” again. In the following sessions I noticed that the psychological impact of his hearing that I had a new baby had changed. This time my baby represented for Attis his younger siblings, the twins, a boy and a girl, and his youngest sister with hearing difficulty. As he did in his childhood, he now had to compete with a sibling(s) born after him and face a mother/therapist who would not have time to take care of him and love him.

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Medium 9781855752672

APPENDIX c: The future—-winds of change

Murray Jackson Karnac Books ePub

In the last few years, important collaboration has grown among psycho-analytically informed professionals devoted to developing and integrating the application of psychoanalytic and other psychological methods of research and treatment in the psychoses and other severe mental illness (Johannsen, Larsen, McGlashan, & Vaglum, 2000; Martindale et al., 2000; McGorry, 1996).

An initiative begun several years ago in the United Kingdom, the Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the Public Health Sector (APP), has grown dramatically. It has forged links with other European groups to form the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP), with an active section devoted to psychosis and a membership of 12,000 in twenty-three countries.

The International Symposium for the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia (ISPS), founded by Benedetti and Muller in Switzerland in 1954, has become a large and growing international organization. It has recently extended its boundaries to embrace new contemporary perspectives, with a new title, The International Society for the Psychological Treatments of the Schizophrenias and Other Psychoses, while maintaining its acronym (ISPS) and its dedication to preserving its psychoanalytically based origins. Expanding from its original nucleus in Switzerland into the United States, the Scandinavian countries (TIPS), and recently Australia (EPPIC), it has taken root in the United Kingdom and promises to have increasing influence in the coming years. In these organizations, as well as in the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), special interest is developing in the relation of psychoanalysis to the psychotherapy of psychoses. An initiative aimed at building bridges between psychoanalysis, neuroscience, cognitive science, and psychology has recently been launched by the Anna Freud Centre, London.

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Medium 9781855750142

4 Case Study

David Campbell Karnac Books ePub

We will be following one particular case to illustrate our thinking in this book. This is the Johnson family, whose family tree is given opposite (all names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family):

Mrs Johnson telephoned a local family therapy centre for an appointment after finding that another agency had a long waiting list. She was concerned about her son Ian, who, she said, was bright at school but “doesn’t seem to be handling adolescence very well”. He had been very close to his elder sister, Colette, but she was now away at university and Ian saw little of her. He was getting on very badly with his brothers, particularly James. He was described as “totally unbearable” at home but was doing very well at school. He was lying to his family and also stealing. Mr Johnson’s mother was spending every Sunday with the family and disapproved on Ian’s behaviour.

The team began to organize the information and consider the hypothesis that the mother had something to lose as the family began to leave home; the index patient, Ian, might be needing to draw some attention to another relationship in the family. We also asked ourselves what were the advantages in accepting the position of scapegoat in this family. We noted that father was hardly mentioned in the referral.

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Medium 9781855753822

CHAPTER 2: Prescription and rationality in management control

Lisl Klein Karnac Books ePub

This is an example of research that can be used, not in the sense of applying findings directly to other situations, but of highlighting mechanisms (in this case, control systems) that will be at work in other situations. It also generated a method—the tracer study—that has turned out to be useful in practice.

In the 1950s, the industrial sociologist Joan Woodward had conducted research in a hundred firms in Essex to see whether those that followed the precepts of current management teaching were more successful than those that did not. Instead of finding that successful firms had features of organization in common, however, the research found a relationship between technology, organization, and success: if one ranged the firms on a scale of production technology—from unit production through small-batch, large-batch, and mass production, to process production at the complex end of the scale—there were forms of organization common to these production processes. Successful firms tended to adhere to these forms of organization, unsuccessful ones to deviate from them. The research also found that at the two ends of the scale, in unit production and process production, it was possible to make predictions from the technology about behaviour in the firm, whereas in the middle of the scale it was not (Woodward, 1965).

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Medium 9781855757141

CHAPTER FIVE. Ways of understanding

Michael Moskowitz Karnac Books ePub

Evolution has given each of us two ways of understanding the world—the cognitive and the emotional. Roughly speaking, these two approaches conform to the traditional distinction between head and heart, logic and gut, thinking and feeling. Everyone, to some extent, uses both cognitive abilities and emotional reactions to formulate theories about other minds. Over-reliance on either approach can lead to flawed theories of mind and mind-misreads. Ideally, we would naturally use a balance of the two approaches, shifting the balance as the situation demands, maybe, for example, relying more on emotion with friends and family and more on cognition at work. Yet everyone knows that there are difficult family situations when it is good to be as thoughtful and clearheaded as possible; and there are work situations where it is better to rely on your gut.

Being a balanced knower does not mean being inflexibly tied to equally weighing emotion and clear-headed thought. It means being able to use the data available to formulate your best guess, your best theory of what’s going on and what you should do. That means not ignoring upsetting information or dismissing odd and uncanny feelings. It also means being able to discard false or misleading information, whether in the form of dry statistics or sly seductions.

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Medium 9781782201311

Chapter Five: Purpose

Robert French Karnac Books ePub

Purpose is of central importance in groups because of the fact that people always meet with something in mind. “Every group, however casual, meets to ‘do’ something”, as Bion puts it with typical directness and simplicity. (1961, p. 143) He argues that this is why a defining characteristic of groups that function well is their sense of “common purpose”: (1961, p. 25) what they are there to do is agreed, understood, and shared by all. This understanding of purpose is a good starting point for making sense of one's experience in groups, because so often the purpose for which a group is meeting is not clearly stated, or even when it is, can easily be forgotten. Bion used his experience of the group purpose as the basis for spotting moments when it turned into something different—typically without discussion or even apparent awareness.

Our primary focus in this chapter, therefore, is to bring to attention “the beauty of common purpose”; (Cocker, 2007, p. 136) that is, its role, importance, and implications for practice in groups.

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Medium 9781574412697

Cold War

Dan E. Burns University of North Texas Press PDF

Cold War

Joining forces for Ben, Sue and I looked for a place to settle in

together. During the spring of 1997, I drew circles and lines on the map—school, Bachman Recreation Center, routes to work. All pointers intersected at a block of older apartments just a short hike from

Gooch Elementary, Ben’s school. The once-proud apartments, gone to seed and drug dealers, were being gutted and renovated, like me.

Southern-mansion style, low-rise, verandas, hanging gardens, oversized rooms, lavish space; real plaster on the foot-thick walls, steel and brick superstructure built to last a century. Bay windows looking out on the oak-shaded lawn. Playground and a swimming pool just around the corner. Foliage at the bottom of the stairs where Sue could plant a garden.

We rented a three-bedroom apartment on the second floor: master for Sue, study/bedroom for me, cubby for Ben. My Mom and

Dad bought us a new washer and dryer set, blessing our reunion.

The dining room table doubled as Ben’s therapy desk, where trainers could sit. Searching the Salvation Army for treasures, I selected a Queen Anne sofa and matching chair recovered in green fleur-delis. I paid from my savings and offered it as a gift to Sue, an open hope chest. She branded the living room with a red fleur-de-lis mismatched chair. Her mark.

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Medium 9781780491318

1: Introduction: From a Universe of Presences to a Universe of Absences

Howard B Levine Karnac Books ePub

1

Introduction: from a universe of presences to a universe of absences

Gail S. Reed, Howard B. Levine, & Dominique Scarfone

In the last several decades, the analytic field has widened considerably in scope. The therapeutic task is now seen by an increasing number of analysts to require that patient and analyst work together to strengthen, or to create, psychic structure that was previously weak, missing, or functionally inoperative. This view, which may apply to all patients but is especially relevant to the treatment of non-neurotic patients and states of mind, stands in stark contrast to the more traditional assumption that the therapeutic task involves the uncovering of the unconscious dimension of a present pathological compromise formation that holds a potentially healthy ego in thrall.

The contrast to which we wish to call attention is that which exists roughly between formulations of psychic structure and functioning that were once assumed to have been sufficiently well explained by the hypotheses of Freud's topographic theory and those that were not.1 The former are modelled on neurosis and dream interpretation, where conflicts between relatively well-defined (saturated) and psychically represented desires were assumed to operate under the aegis of the pleasure–unpleasure principle. The latter involve a different level of psychic functioning and registration—one that is more closely associated with preverbal, and/or massive psychic trauma, as well as with primitive mental states. It operates “beyond the pleasure principle”. In complementary fashion, psychoanalytic theorizing has begun to shift from conceiving solely or predominantly of a universe of presences, forgotten, hidden, or disguised but there for the finding, to a negative universe of voids where creation of missing structure, often referred to by the Freudian metapsychological designation, representation, becomes of necessity part of the cure (e.g., Bion, 1970; Botella & Botella, 2005; Green, 1993, 1997; Roussillon, 1999; Winnicott, 1971c).

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Medium 9781855759527

CHAPTER SIX Strangebody

Mariam Alizade Karnac Books ePub

Irene Matthis

“We are all to some extent hysterics”

Moebius, quoted by Freud, 1905c, p. 171

A woman, let’s call her Eve, is aching all over. She tires easily and can only with great difficulty carry out her everyday duties. When she goes to see her first doctor, she is perhaps afraid she has a fatal disease—and then she might be satisfied that the doctor finds no organic cause to her worries. But, on the other hand, the pains do not disappear with this information. They are still there, just as before. So she goes to see a second doctor, who might help her relieve her pains. He enlarges the examination program—takes more tests—but the result is the same: no organic cause can be found for Eve’s bodily suffering.

So if nothing is wrong with her body, what is wrong? What is suffering in her? What is her body trying to convey? If anything!

Eve ponders her situation and perhaps doubts herself. But as far as the pains go she is in no doubt. And now she even has problemalking. Anyone watching her move can bear witness to her difficulties. It is quite clear to the world that she is in pain.

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Medium 9780946439775

The Grid

Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub

THE GRID

The Grid is an instrument for the use of practising psycho-analysts. It is not intended that it should be used during the working session. The left-hand vertical column is an indication of categories in which a statement, of whatever kind, should be placed; this category indicates developmental status.

The horizontal axis is intended to state, approximately, the use to which the statement is being put. The two axes should thus together indicate a category implying a comprehensive range of information about the statement. It has been considered useful to include two rows for β- and α-elements neither of which are real or observable. The β-element row is for the categorization of elements like an unpremeditated blow which is related to, but is not, thought. The next row, C, is intended for categories of thought which are often expressible in terms of sensuous, usually visual, images such as those appearing in dreams, myths, narratives, hallucinations. This category will certainly require extension as psycho-analytic experience accumulates; even now it deserves a ‘grid’ of its own to expand it suitably for psycho-analytic use.

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Medium 9781855757325

CHAPTER FOUR

Jenny Stanton Karnac Books ePub

In my shed, I selected a piece of birch, set my lathe going—a foot-operated model I’d built myself—and let my chisel bite in, shaping the cylindrical chunk into a white pawn. I’d been manufacturing the chess set intermittently over many years, the most enduring of a series of projects to turn to for solace when I needed to rest my mind. With wood-shavings curling up and back across my hand, I mulled over my conversations with Alison James. Since I’d talked with her in the pub, the nightmares had become less frequent, The Dread easier to dispel. Knowing that Thomas Newbolt was on the historical record did not explain my waking dreams, but it appeared to reassure Alison, and now she seemed more disposed to help me.

I stopped my treadling, and the whirl of the spindle slowed to silence. Among all the details Healey and his crew had provided about the wrecking of The Blessing of Burntisland, there had been no information about the survivors. Their names, their identities, had not been recorded. I wanted to know more about that boy. The doctor I could do without. I hated the way I was pulled right inside his mind, aware of his fears, sweating with him on the scaffold, suffocating with him in the deep water. He was arrogant, I could tell that, and worse—a traitor: he’d said so himself. If he’d left the king’s service in 1635, it was likely he’d been on the other side in the Civil War. But I didn’t want to think about Newbolt. The lad was another matter; I felt powerfully drawn to him. I started to turn again.

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