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Chapter Ten - Becoming a Parent

Isca Salzberger-Wittenberg Karnac Books ePub


Becoming a parent

The wish to have a baby is often already present in childhood. I remember being far less interested in dolls than in live babies. The fact that I was the youngest child in my family probably had something to do with it. Did I feel dolls to be like dead babies, lifeless, worried about my mother having no more babies after me? I begged to be allowed to push the pram and spoon-feed the baby of one of my mother's friends. Pets also aroused maternal feelings: I loved Anton, my uncle's dog whom I often took for a walk and, of course, my two canaries whom I looked after and hoped they would mate and have little ones. I was very disappointed when they did not do so.

In adulthood, as well as a love of children, additional motivations enter in to wanting to have a child. There is the awareness of being part of a lifeline which stretches from past generations and makes us wish to continue it; in doing so, we may feel that we are investing in a future beyond our lifespan. Maybe there is also the hope that by having offspring, a part of us remains alive—is immortal. There may be a desire to preserve or pass on the qualities we value in our partner, our parents, grandparents, and/or others who have inspired us. Having a baby is also often felt to be a present one is giving to one's parents. And indeed a baby is usually a source of infinite joy for them as well as enriching the lives of other members of the family: sisters and brothers, the newcomer's siblings, cousins, youngsters who are often thrilled at becoming uncles and aunts. Wishing to but not being able to produce a baby is felt as a failure and a very painful loss. The feelings of loss may be ameliorated, though not necessarily eliminated, by adopting a child or becoming a stepmother/father. “Stepfather” and especially “stepmother” carry such bad connotations that I prefer calling them “second mother” or “second father”. This makes it clear that while the birth parent is number one, never displaced or forgotten, someone else has taken on an important maternal or paternal role.

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8. Specific problems

Yvonne M. Agazarian Karnac Books ePub

Once a group has developed structure and thus can be viewed as a working group rather than as a group in formation, certain problems arise which are of a repetitive and predictable nature. These problems are difficult to resolve and reappear in many guises. This chapter provides a discussion of such problems and their causes, and makes technical suggestions for their resolution.

The most common and persistent problem in psychotherapy groups is the issue with authority, in which parental transference is cycled and recycled at different depths and different intensities. The scope of this problem contains the issues in adolescent resolution, with the ambivalent conflicts between fantasy and reality; dependence and independence; passivity and activity, and responsibility and irresponsibility down the continuum of the developmental scale to the early splitting of the object into good and bad and the projection of the pathogenic introject. For the therapists, these phases require the most skill in resolution, and the most analysis of their counter-transference, as well as the greatest stress on the co-therapy relationship. The resolution of these authority phases are also, in our opinion, the single most therapeutic experience for each and every group member in psychotherapy groups which develop in the style that we are describing and explaining in this book. We have dealt with this at some length in chapter 5.

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Medium 9781855759985

CHAPTER TWELVE: Final notes on the three paradigms

Franco De Masi Karnac Books ePub

Iust as the sexual deviations are very diverse psychic experiences that cannot readily be subsumed under a single common denominator, so too the sadomasochistic sexual version cannot be classified under one heading owing to its multiplicity of levels and psychodynamic implications.

Of all the perversions, this one (in which the polymorphism of symptoms is an expression of different kinds of mental suffering) is surely the most complex and difficult to interpret. Sexual sadomasochism, after all, may be the outcome of infantile traumas, but also of a climate of excessive affective coldness or distance in the environment of the growing child. Finally, perverse mental states, whether temporary or permanent, may be observed in borderline pathology, in certain psychotic experiences, or in criminal acts.

Understandably, given the often complex and contradictory clinical data (one need only think of the significance of trauma), the various analytic models have had to simplify the complexity of the subject, blurring certain aspects and emphasizing others. It seems to me that this is the price to be paid by all authors who have sought to formulate a general theory of the perversions. I also believe that the various models refer to differing mental states or psychopathological structures.

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Medium 9781780491271

22nd October 1914 Forest of Mormal Isabelle

Lorraine Bateman Karnac Books ePub

Isabelle and Jacqueline were on their way to the Forest of Mormal; it was her turn to walk while Jacqueline drove a small cart, pulled by a donkey. The small beast could only manage the extra weight of one person. This basic means of transport had come from the de Croy estate. The princess had loaded the cart with provisions of fruit, vegetables, and a little meat, all covered by a thick layer of brushwood. In their old clothes the girls could easily pass as peasants and blend in with the forest inhabitants.

The small village of Englefontaine was just inside the boundary of the forest. It had been arranged for them to meet with the baker who would take them on to where the soldiers were camped, and help them with the supplies. Isabelle was pleased to walk and waved Jacqueline aside when it was her turn on the carriage; she was excited with the thought of seeing Lieutenant James Baxter again, and only wished that the donkey would move at a faster pace.

Baxter and the men had stayed close to the village at first, but recently, as German patrols increased in the area, they had been forced deeper into the forest. Their numbers had now swelled to 20 largely due to the efforts of the two girls, who had scoured the villages for soldiers.

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7. Reflections on Heinz Kohut’s concept of narcissism

Andrew Samuels Karnac Books ePub

Mario Jacoby

Jacobys aim is not to stress that many contemporary ideas in psychoanalysis concerning narcissism and self-psychology have been anticipated byJungians. Rather, he is exploring similarities and differences between two major strands of theorizing. As he says, he is, if anything, looking at analytical psychology through the eyes of Kohutian self psychology.

A further interest of the author’s is to consider the implications for technique. It can be seen that Jacoby, a training analyst in Zurich, is quite clear that attention to transference-counter-transference processes is a central feature of analysis. When first reading the paper, I was struck by the sensitive and self-aware way in which Jacoby dealt with his patient’s idealizationnot in a manner that dismissed it as ‘defence’, but somehow managing to allow for growth inherent in such a transference (along the lines of Kohut’s model).

Finally, what Jacoby says about the ‘Jungian self repays study.


There is much diversity in current psychoanalytic literature, but for many years now my attention has been particularly drawn to Heinz Kohut’s works on narcissism (1966,1971,1972,1977). Kohut has struck me in many ways as a kindred spirit, his views being akin to my own on psychology and his therapeutic approach similar to mine, which, in itself, is closely related to C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology. While reading Kohut’s often microscopically subtle, descriptions and interpretations, traits of various analysands, including the analysand I am for myself, would immediately come to mind. I was also struck again and again by how close Kohut seemed to analytical psychology, even in the way he sees the basic problem of psychological theorizing. Because he firmly believes that ‘all worthwhile theorizing is tentative, probing, provisional—contains an element of playfulness’ (Kohut, 1977, p. 206), Kohut is tolerant about possible inconsistencies in psychological theory. As he writes, ‘I am using the word playfulness advisedly to contrast the basic attitude of creative science with that of dogmatic religion’ (ibid., p. 207). Here we have a striking parallel with Jung, who, in his memoirs, complains about Freud’s dogmatism with the following words, ‘As I saw it, scientific truth was a hypothesis which might be adequate for the moment but was not to be preserved as an article of faith for all time’ (Jung, 1963, p. 148).

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Chapter 4. Running

Kathryn U. Hulings University of North Texas Press PDF


Before it happened, the day was bucolic. I stood on the dewy

September lawn in back of the synagogue drinking cream soda and eating a bagel shmeared with cream cheese. Michael, who was three years old, was sandwiched between Jim and me. Jim was in a neck brace, still recovering from an accident. A month earlier, he, Nathan, Sean, and

Joedy had been in a roll-over on I-25, while driving home from a day at

Water World; at the time, I was at home with Michael and Edie. After the accident, the kids were black-and-blue from seat-belt bruises, and

Jim was left with a compression fracture of his fourth vertebrae. They were still achy and sore, but on that September day, they were happy to be alive, in the sun, on the grass, at the Temple.

Between noshes on my bagel, Jim, Michael, and I waved goodbye to my four oldest children as they trotted off to their indoor classrooms for the first day of Hebrew school, to learn their alef-bet, how to daven

(pray), and the meaning of tzedakah (charity), so that dropping their allowance quarters in a charity box every Shabbat and each Sunday would make sense. The Rabbi stood in the middle of a swaying circle of parents and sang a lilting prayer, blessing the arrival of such a lovely morning and celebrating the future of the Jewish people, our children.

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Richard P. Kluft Karnac Books ePub

Ben listened to the tape. Eve said nothing about the hand signals.

“What an awful experience for you!”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, how did you feel?”

“Stupid, ashamed, wrong, beaten up…And ready to kill him.”

“He put you in an impossible position, systematically undermining you and your work. I noticed some slight breaks in his tone. After each one Joe went on a tear. What else did you notice?”

“I don't want to say. It makes me feel crazy.”

“That's Will. If you start to follow him down his particular road, you have to bail out, start to go crazy, or shoot him. Most people bail out. They assume that since he's smarter than the average bear, it must be that they just don't get it.”

“Like Kernberg?”

“Yeah, except that Kernberg really is a genius.”

“What should I think about Will?”

“He's a lying asshole. But perhaps my crude formulation is insufficiently nuanced for the cultivated Dr. Eve Gilchrist.”

“Look. I feel crazy every time I start to think of saying what I'm thinking out loud.”

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Afterword: lost and found

M Gerard Fromm Karnac Books ePub

M. Gerard Fromm

“And yet they, who passed away long ago, still exist in us, as predisposition, as burden upon our fate, as murmuring blood, as gesture that rises up from the depths of time”

(Rilke, 1945)

With this epigraph from the poet, Rilke, Jane Fonda (2005) begins a critical chapter of her autobiography, a chapter in which she tells the story of her having become emotionally lost in what she eventually realizes is the trauma of her mother’s life. Against the backdrop of Hollywood and Broadway, it is the story of two troubled people forging a terribly troubled marriage in an impossibly heady context. Henry Fonda is adored by his feisty tomboy daughter, despite his morose disposition and proclivity for rage and for the devastating silences he had suffered from his own father.

Frances Fonda is regarded by her daughter with more mixed emotions, primarily in response to how the child Jane perceived her mother’s femininity: sometimes sweet and lovely, often long-suffering, inadequate as a source of pleasure for her husband, pathetic in her attempts, ultimately broken, as, her marriage deteriorating, she descended into depression and became lost to both herself and her children. Psychiatric hospitalizations followed, without evident benefit, and Frances Fonda became increasingly suicidal. Accompanied by a nurse on a visit to the family’s northwestern Connecticut home, Frances retrieved a hidden razor blade from her bathroom and, back at the hospital a month later, on her birthday, cut her throat.

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8. Fantasy terminable and interminable

Kirsty Hall Karnac Books ePub

Letty is a woman dedicated to her career, that of being a fulltime patient. She arrives in her new analyst Laura’s consulting room for the first time and says in a subdued but fervent tone, “I hope this will be my last analysis.” She recounts a history of frequent hospital visits, suicide attempts, cutting and regular appointments with other psychotherapists, healers and religious gurus. Consequently, she has little time left for love, work or life in general. Letty gives orders to all the members of the helping professions who populate her life—she discharges herself from hospital; she demands that people change their schedules to see her. In her first session, Letty stipulates that Laura see her at least three times a week. She has just arrived in a taxi driven by her boyfriend, Len.

This brief vignette is indicative of the attitude of many patients when they first come to see an analyst. They have a desperate clearly expressed hope that “somebody out there” will “fix” their lives for them. Their expectations, whether direct or implied, are of clear solutions to clear problems that have clear endings.

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CHAPTER THREE. Psychotic character: “a bit of an old rogue”

Murray Jackson Karnac Books ePub

A significant proportion of the clinician’s work is concerned with attempts to assist individuals whose behaviour and symptomatology are the expression of lifelong difficulties in forming and preserving close emotional relationships. Such patients are regarded as suffering from personality disorder. They present in many forms, often associated with diagnosable psychiatric illness such as hysteria (seen more often in women), schizoid states {seen more often in men), obsessive-compulsive disorder, or depression. They tend to lead chaotic, unhappy lives and often cause emotional damage to others. Psychoanalysts consider that such disturbances derive from failure in crucial phases of early emotional development, which leaves the individual without a coherent sense of self or a capacity to manage impulses realistically. They are often afflicted by feelings of futility, emptiness, and depression. Although at times they function psychotically, these occasions are usually responses to stress and last for no more than a few hours or days, rarely leading to a diagnosis of psychosis. Over extended periods, these patients may experience many phases of disorganization, but they do not deteriorate, hence they are designated as demonstrating “stable instability”. Since they inhabit the border between neurosis and psychosis but belong to neither, they are classified as borderline personalities, and it is widely acknowledged that they are extremely difficult to treat. In recent years a burgeoning literature, psychiatric and psychoanalytic, has accumulated about them.1

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Chapter Eleven: When All-Inclusive Principles are Diffuse

Neville Symington Karnac Books ePub

In Chapter Five I wrote of the way an all-inclusive principle permeates a range of elements in the personality. The problem is how to locate this principle when it is very diffuse. Grief is easy to detect when it is hitched to a particular event. At a funeral a wife is weeping as her husband's coffin is lowered into the grave, its final resting place. But say the grief is because Natalie's mother was depressed after giving birth to her. Depression means, in this case, that her mother was physically present but her spirit was absent after Natalie's birth. The loss of her mother's spirit caused grief, like the woman whose husband was being buried. Natalie's grief is intense but it cannot be linked to the event that has stimulated it, so it is diffused through the personality. I say that it cannot be linked but this is not quite right. It is with difficulty that it is linked. The two examples above illustrate the matter. In the case of the wife weeping as her husband's coffin is being lowered into the grave there is an inner connection between her and what is happening. It is possible for an inner connection to occur for Natalie also. It would be necessary for her to feel some feature in her personality and to see in a living way the connection to her absent mother. Let us say she has always had a longing to be loved by her brother but knowing always that this is not so. She has the sense of her brother's absence and of seeing suddenly that this pre-dated her longing for her brother in a longing for her mother's love. A moment of illumination occurs that lights up several pathways in her life. I think it is something like this that Bion was trying to describe in his use of the term the selected fact where he says: “The selected fact is the name of an emotional experience, the emotional experience of a sense of discovery of coherence…” (1984, p. 73). Coherence is the crucial word here. In Natalie's longing for her brother, in a moment a pathway of similar longing is lit up, leading to her mother. It is the longing as a principle which receives its essential colouring from her relation to her mother. At that moment the knowledge that her mother was depressed after her birth ceases to be a practical fact like there is a Statue of Liberty at the entrance to New York harbour or the Battle of Waterloo was fought in the year 1815. Instead this disposition known as “longing” becomes shot through with personal significance.

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Chapter One: Meeting the challenge

Christine A.S. Hill Karnac Books ePub

“Psychoanalytic practitioners sometimes slip into a position of arrogance, that of thinking they know best. Thus, when something goes wrong in an analysis, it is often the patient who is held accountable for this, the analyst assuming it to be an expression of the patient’s pathology rather than perhaps (at least) due to some fault of the analyst’s”

(Casement, 2002, p. xiii)

If you were a patient seeking psychoanalytic treatment, what would you think of Casement’s statement? Or, if an analytic trainee, how would you process the notion that even experienced analysts can confuse, or fail to understand, an inadequacy in their style of working which is then falsely attributed to the patient’s pathology? How many people have actually listened to patients and really understood what the experience of analysis was like for them? These are some of the questions addressed in this book.

Casement’s (2002) statement struck me as both honest and provocative, and encouraged my growing interest in exploring psychoanalysis from the patient’s perspective. How could I find ways to understand the psychoanalytic process as it unfolds within the transference–countertransference relationship, and in the privacy of the consulting rooms? In seeking an answer to this question I decided to ask patients, who had been in an analysis, what led them into this journey of discovery and what the experience was like for them. Did the analysis meet their expectations, or not, and how did they understand what it was that made the difference?

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Medium 9781780491592

Chapter Four - On Grandparents: Immigration, Trauma, Resilience, and the Telescoping of Generations

Kieffer, Christine C. Karnac Books ePub


In this chapter, I will explore how an intergenerational transmission of trauma may be engendered by the process of immigration, differentiating between the experience of those whose relocation was abrupt and unwelcome rather versus the experience of those who had longed for and idealized the “New World”. Whether the relocation is self-initiated or was thrust upon them, immigrants experience the dislocation of having to negotiate multiple and unfamiliar boundaries, borders and contexts—and this secret history is encoded in succeeding generations. I will trace the development of this process through three generations of an Italian immigrant family. I also will discuss examples of the unfolding of this process as it is depicted in several recent works of American fiction.

A secondary aim of this chapter will be to explore the role of the extended family—in particular the role of grandparents—in development, and in particular, in the acquisition of psychological resilience.

An Italian-American experience

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5. teenagers

Martin Hollins Karnac Books ePub


The 11 to 16 age group is socially defined by attendance at secondary school or its equivalent. For the young people themselves, it will be characterized by the physical and emotional changes of puberty and adolescence. As in previous chapters, we present a brief summary of the typical mental and physical development of 11- to 16-year-olds, for reference. As parents of a young disabled person, we will know quite a lot by this stage in their lives, about how different they are from this usual pattern of development. There will probably be delays in both cognitive and emotional aspects of their development, which results in distinctive emotional and behavioural responses and causes personal and social difficulties. We consider these later in the chapter.

This is a period of significant change for any child approaching adulthood. At puberty there are important physical changes due to sexual maturity, including the external body changes of hair growth, the development of breasts in girls, and the lowering of the pitch of the voice (“breaking”) in boys. There is also a growth spurt, increased sweating, and the common onset of the teenager’s nightmare—acne! All this is the result of the changing activity of sex hormones, which stimulate the development of the sexual organs leading to the adult ability to reproduce. This is signalled very clearly for females in the onset of the menstrual cycle, while males have the more unpredictable emissions of “wet dreams” and learn to manage having erections. The age at which this happens varies quite widely and has been getting earlier in all industrialized societies, probably due to improved nutrition and health. It begins in girls about two years earlier than in boys. The sex hormones also have emotional effects, which can result in mood changes in girls—for example, at the time of a girl’s period—and impulsive or aggressive behaviour in boys. These changes can have significant impacts on all aspects of young people’s lives, including their body image and social relationships. These impacts differ between boys and girls and between those who mature earlier or later than their peers.

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Claudine Aegerter Aeon Books ePub

An angelic, winged female figure is pouring liquid from a silver vase into a golden vase; no drops are spilt. This is water, the essence of life. There is no drunkenness, no illusion or magic, for this is Temperance. Sil ver represents the highest aspiration of the personality and when the work of uplifting the mind is done, the self-concern of the personality can be left behind and the essence of that work can be poured into the golden vase of the Soul. We have allowed ourselves to become completely receptive, for we have got rid of everything that is not essential, in giving ourselves up to the higher aspects of love and truth.

To start with a story about reality:-

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend, saying “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see”. Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars”. “What does that tell you Watson?” asked Holmes. “Well, astronomically it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets; horologically I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three; meteorologically I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you?” Watson asked. Holmes was silent for a moment, then spoke; “Watson, someone has stolen our tent”.

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