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Medium 9781782204190

Chapter Eleven: Oedipus Tyrannus—A Cover Story

Seel, Dietmar; Ullrich, Burkhard; Zepf, Florian Daniel; Zepf, Siegfried Karnac Books ePub

I am sorry to say this, but no-one has understood before now that “Oedipus” is not about the revelation of truth but about the cover up of truth…And it has nothing to do with the Oedipus Complex because Oedipus never had a complex.

—Hovhannes Pilikian, 1974

Myths leave no doubt that the chain of tragic events in the Oedipus drama was not initiated by Oedipus the son, but by Laius the father. It was Laius’ fear that caused him to stage the drama with his son, not Oedipus and his desire. Viewed from the perspective of the myths, Freud's statement that all individuals are condemned to undergo the Oedipus complex “because the oracle laid the same curse upon us before our birth as upon him” (Freud, 1900a, p. 262), has to be understood in the sense that children are generally destined to be victims of the fear, jealousy, yearnings, and expectations of their parents.

One might point out that Abraham (1909, p. 269) considered myths as dreams. As dreams they represent unconscious wishes as fulfilled and one could argue that the portrayal of the oedipal drama in the myths is a wish-fulfilment, because in reality the situation is reversed and the children are freed from any guilt by their presentation as victims and the parents are identified as the perpetrators.

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Medium 9781780490274

CHAPTER TWO: Some historical and cultural considerations with regard to naming

Tesone, Juan Eduardo Karnac Books ePub

“… Not thinking of names as an inaccessible ideal, but as a real atmosphere into which I would plunge”

(Proust, 1929, p. 390)

The two elements of the modern onomastic system common throughout Europe are the family name and the given name. Although the last name has acquired more importance in our current system, we must not forget that, in reality, it appeared relatively recently. The use of a name begins to appear around the year 1000 and its use only spreads through Europe during the Renaissance. Only then does the formula, given name plus family name, become prevalent. During the eleventh century the most decisive mutation occurs when the system of the double name replaces the system of single names.

The Council of Trent (1563) contributes to this evolution when it orders the registry of baptismal names, a use that had begun in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in order to avoid consanguine marriages.

At the Synod of 18th October, 1619, the Bishop of Limoges, Raymond de la Marthonie, publishes the Statutes and Regulations for his diocese, which decree, in Chapter X, On the sacrament of baptism: “No names will be given that allude to paganism and are not used in the Catholic Church, but instead those baptised will be given names of saints”. This text may be analysed in two different ways, depending on whether we look ahead in time or back. Ahead, these statutes are one of the starting points of the Catholic reform that, as we know, required the whole of a long century to penetrate into the countryside in the region of Limousin in central France; this leads us at least into the mid-eighteenth century. If we go back, these statutes represent the influence on names both of the Renaissance, with its taste for antiquity, and that of the Reform, attracted by the Old Testament. But this episcopal decision does not seem to be aware of the profound evolution in Limousin that leads from a massively Germanic naming system up to the tenth century to nearly total Christianisation of baptismal names (cited in Perouas, Barrière, Boutier, Peyronnet, & Tricard, 1984).

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Medium 9781855756212

Chapter Twenty Two: On longing: In Rumi, and Lorca

Alapack, Richard J. Karnac Books ePub

Who remains a stranger to the agony of longing for a lost beloved? Who has not known the pain of yearning, pining, and aching for the one who is gone? Love takes hostages. It seems pedantic to list longing as one of sorrow’s profiles. Call it lovesickness, heartbreak, kjærlighetssorg, or the lovesick blues … whichever fits your experience or your taste. It is extreme loneliness, of living with the loss of one’s loss, of an other who may be a live corpse or a haunting ghost.

To repeat, mainstream psychological-psychiatric literature contributes nothing to an understanding of soul-hurt. Susanne Scheibe (2005) mentions lovesickness as an example of sehnsucht or longing which she operationally defines as an intense desire for something that is remote, irretrievably lost, or unattainable. Although people commonly experience longing throughout the lifespan, it is rarely investigated. “Surprisingly, the psychological literature on the phenomenon or related concepts such as yearning, nostalgia, homesickness, and wanderlust has been relatively scarce for many years” (Mayser, Scheibe & Riediger, 2008). Such neglect of longing denigrates the phenomenon. Dum tacit clamat. Silence shouts. Whatever is missing from a discipline’s literature reveals as much as it contains. What does it mean that researchers both in bereavement and in human development ignore longing? Inauthentic silence roars.

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Medium 9780946439829

CHAPTER ONE: The story of the larger group approach

Karnac Books ePub

The story of the larger group approach

The introduction of large groups convened along group-analytic lines brings a new approach to our thinking about groups.

Basically, what we are doing is to apply Foulkesian group-analytic concepts to the larger situation: we are increasing the size of the group-analytic group.

The increase in size is crucial. When the group of eight becomes a group of twenty, we begin to have a different level of group activity, representing a different dimension of human experience. We have gone beyond the confines of the familio-centric group; in this larger setting the group acquires another range of meanings, and cultural context becomes the central issue.

Group analysis, building upon the foundations of psychoanalysis, made it possible to move beyond the bounds of one-to-one dyadic therapy. The large group approach, in its turn building upon the foundations of (small) group analysis, now brings the possibility of moving beyond the bounds of family- and network-centred therapy.

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Medium 9781855750890

CHAPTER THREE. The psychodrama tic exploration of transgenerational psychiatry: “sins of the fathers”

Farmer, Chris Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter I illustrate the way psychodrama can be applied to a particular conceptual model of family systems theory, rather than to systemic therapy in the more general sense, as used in the Milan approach. The “multi-generation transmission process” as expounded by Bowen (1978) conceives family dysfunction as arising from the operation of a family’s emotional system over several generations.

Much family therapy involves working with family-of-origin issues and some practitioners consider these to be the most fundamental concerns. Bowen (1978) originated this field of study which has been developed by his followers, including Guerin (1976) and Fogarty (1978). Framo (1982) brought object relations theory to bear on the subject and Boszormenyi-Nagy (1981) introduced the concept of a ledger of ethical obligations extending across generations. Lieberman (1979) in England and Roberto (1992) in the United States have reviewed transgenerational theories and therapies. These clinicians and many others have emphasized the importance of patients addressing these topics directly with the family members concerned wherever this is possible.

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Medium 9781574411904

Chapter 22: Stephen—Shaken Baby Syndrome

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-Two

Stephen—Shaken Baby Syndrome

“Without riding I don’t think Stephen would be walking with a walker now,” nurse Roxann Martin-White said. “People need to know the damage that shaking a baby can do.”

Stephen White is a lucky seven-year-old. Yes, he has endured appalling trauma in his short life and has serious medical problems. Still he is lucky, because he can call Roxann and Joe White his parents.

After bringing up their own four children, the Whites began caring for other youngsters, many of whom came to them with special needs. The couple has adopted six of them. Those who volunteer work a few hours, then we can return to our home. The Whites have made a commitment, which requires twenty-four hours a day. I can’t think of sufficient words to express my admiration for them. Surely countless others the world over are similarly committed, and I am in awe of them all.

Stephen entered the Whites’ lives shortly before his fourth birthday.

“He didn’t crawl, or scoot along on his bottom like he does now,” Martin-White said. “All he could do was roll over. He couldn’t talk, except for a couple of words, and he had no communication skills. He was withdrawn, very quiet.”

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Medium 9781780491066

12 The experience of supervision

Rhode, Maria; Rustin, Margaret; Williams, Gianna Polacco; Williams, Meg Harris Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Catrin Bradley

Ihad individual supervision during my training with Mattie for the two terms leading up to the summer of her accident. Mattie was someone I had known all my life as our families were close, and her inspiration certainly played a part for me in deciding on the career change which brought me into this work. In training I attended her Personality Development seminars, Bion seminars and clinical seminars, and her influence in all these contexts joins together in my mind with the experience of the individual supervisions to make a composite presence, at the root of my therapeutic work. In my contribution to this book I want to think about one aspect of my experience of the supervision I had: the way in which my patient’s material, initially so unpromising, fourished so that he (and she – I will give two examples) became able to convey their emotional experience movingly, with powerful imagery. How did this happen?

Mattie paid close attention to the write-up of the sessions I brought to her, getting me to repeat or explain things so that she would have it clear in her mind, and usually we thought about two or even three sessions together. What I said (or didn’t say) was never the focus, but the child’s material: what direction it was going in, what it might mean, and her mind was full of ideas about it. It felt to me that she sometimes anticipated what was going to happen, as if she could see what was coming next, but reading the notes over now I can see that it appeared like that because she was talking about things I had missed! After she talked about them, then I could see it, next time.

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Medium 9781782202929

30. British Schools of Psycho-analysis: Melanie Klein and her Contribution to Psycho-analysis (1963)

Money-Kyrle, Roger Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Melanie Klein and Her Contribution to Psycho-analysis

Melanie Klein was born in Vienna in 1882 and died in London in 1960. She had originally intended to study medicine at the Vienna University and would have done so, had not an early marriage intervened. However, years later during World War I, she had a second opportunity to recapture her old interest in a new form. She came in contact with Freud’s work, recognized what she felt she had been looking for and, from then on, dedicated herself to it. She started her training with Sándor Ferenczi during the war and, after the armistice, continued it with Karl Abraham. Both encouraged her to specialize in the analysis of children, at that time almost a new field. (Later she also analysed adults and, at the end of her life, was largely engaged in training analyses.)

One of her early patients was a very silent child. She tried giving him toys, discovered she could interpret his play as if it had been verbal associations, and so found herself in possession of a new implement of psycho-analytic research. The results of her research with this implement, which she began to publish in a long series of papers and a few books, were regarded by some as departures from Freud and are still often criticized as such. Others, including her own teacher Abraham, till his death in 1926, welcomed them as important contributions to analytic insight and therapeutic power. She herself always saw her work as rooted in Freud’s and a development of it, which inevitably also involved some modifications.

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Medium 9781912567218

12. Imagining Undreamt and Scattered Selves

Botbol, Miriam; Williams, Meg Harris Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

Ashis Roy

Dreaming offers a potential that awakens in the analyst the ability to sense unknown, dismembered, or unformed parts of the patient's self. First impressions and reveries, emanating from the therapist's subjective state provide a lasting vision of the patient. The patient may not have been received through this before. Analysts dream the becoming of the analysand. Many individuals are deprived of caregivers who could have dreamt them. Being ‘dreamt’ in the mind of another has an ongoing potential captured in Winnicott's words ‘going on being’. This dream goes beyond the struggle and the fragmentation which is wrecking the self. Winnicott alerts us to impinging forces and to the creation of the ‘false self’. His work sees the process of dreaming as one in which the psyche is freed of impositions and is allowed a potential space of sustained creative unknowingness. Counterdreaming may be a sustained imaginative entering of the other person's soul. In this paper I illustrate through two vignettes the re-appearance of undreamt pieces of the psyche waiting to be dreamt for psychological use and a situation of dreaming a fragmented self.

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Medium 9781855750869

57. To Whom does one Relate one's Dreams ? [1913]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855755031

CHAPTER FIVE: Repression and becoming conscious of the repressed reframed: the four-level model

Talvitie, Vesa Karnac Books ePub

I n psychoanalytic communities there are surely ideological reasons for tending towards the three-sphere view. There is also a practical reason: the cornerstone provides guidelines for psychoanalysts’ work. The aim of psychoanalysis and psychody-namic therapies has been seen as making the repressed conscious— bringing repressed contents from the unconscious part of the mind into the scope of consciousness. If there is no mental unconscious, that rationale collapses.

Chapter Three pinpointed the problems of the three-sphere view: no one has ever said what those unconscious contents are actually like, and where and how they exist. In Chapter Four we examined the possibility that repressed memories and desires were stored by the brain. That line of thought was demonstrated to be a dead-end. The obvious logical conclusion is that when ideas are missing from consciousness, they are not “hiding” anywhere, but are prevented from being formed in the domain of consciousness.

According to my knowledge, no one has ever spelled out this “third way” in detail. This is related to a common failure to make the distinction between data (clinical observations; explanadum) on one hand, and the theories aiming at explain the data (explanada) on the other. It is rarely noted that the following three claims are not observations: (a) there are repressed ideas, (b) in the beginning of psychotherapy certain ideas are repressed, and (c) towards the end of psychotherapy a therapist can often notice that some repressed ideas have become conscious. Instead, they are theory-laden descriptions on the process of psychotherapy.

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Medium 9780946439423

2. Primal Relationship and Development of the Ego-Self Relationship

Neumann, Erich Karnac Books ePub

Just as the general development of the child’s body depends on nourishment by the mother, so the development of its psyche, of its ego-Self relationship depends on the psychic nourishment given by the mother figure. In this context, the primal relationship provides the child with four essential types of experience.

Where child and mother still form an undifferentiated identity, the primal relationship stands at once for the child’s relations to its own body, to its Self, to the thou, and to the world. The primal relationship is the ontogenetic basis for being-in-one’s-own-body, being-with-one Self, being-together, and being-in-the-world.

As we have seen, the undisturbed primal relationship of the postuterine embryo (in which the child’s Self, externalized, is still with the mother), is characterized by the tensionless paradise-situation of the original unity between mother and child. The child is embedded in a soft containing vessel which represents mother, world, body and Self in one. Its natural existence is one of slumber and peace, almost as in the uterine phase. The symbolism connected with this phase is: satiety, warmth, security and total containment in the sheltering maternal vessel.

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Medium 9781855750128

CHAPTER ONE: The family as a violent institution: a sociological perspective

Bentovim, Arnon Karnac Books ePub


Strauss and Gelles (1987) have completed a number of important sociological studies that have demonstrated the extraordinary extent of violence within the North American family—violence between men and women, parents and children, children and their peers, the widespread use of guns, objects, and so forth. Although there may be some basic differences between North America and the United Kingdom and Europe in terms of scale and particular types of violence, there are likely to be many similarities. The rate for sexual abuse, for instance, is comparable in the United Kingdom and the United States, and studies in Australia and New Zealand indicate very similar rates of child abuse as in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The theoretical position Strauss and Gelles take is not to ask is the family a violence-prone institution, but how violent, and what are the factors that make for more, rather than less, violent interactions. What makes for the extremes of family violence reported in families seen in Social Service departments and by clinicians, and how do they differ from families with similar characteristics but who are not reported to authorities? All researchers feel that families who come to note represent the tip of the iceberg.

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Medium 9781782200086

Chapter Eight - Depression as a Disorder of Disgust

Karnac Books ePub

Fahad S. M. Alanazi, Philip A. Powell, and Michael J. Power

This chapter will consider the importance of disgust as a critical emotion in depression. The available literature on disgust and depression will be reviewed, and it will be argued that the most important form of disgust in depression is when it comes to be focused on the self, particularly in the form of more complex emotional states (e.g., shame and guilt), in terms of their derivation within a basic emotions approach (Power & Dalgleish, 2008). An aetiological model of depression (SPAARS) will be presented which incorporates multilevel representation systems of emotion. Within this model, it will be proposed that the depressive state is a direct result of the emotional coupling of sadness and self-disgust.


Disgust is argued to be one of several basic human emotions (Darwin, 1872/1989; Ekman, 1992; Phillips, Senior, Fahy, & David, 1998), and it plays a significant role in our daily emotional life (Rozin, Haidt, & McCauley, 1999). Although for some time disgust was a neglected and “forgotten” emotion in psychiatry (Phillips et al., 1998), it is now enjoying increased prominence as a research topic in its own right (McNally, 2002). Multiple operational definitions of “disgust” exist. The emotion was originally researched and operationalised psychologically in the context of its oral origins, defined as “revulsion at the prospect of (oral) incorporation of offensive objects” (Rozin & Fallon, 1987, p. 23). Since then, psychological definitions have broadened to acknowledge wider elicitors of disgust, including those from core, animal-reminder, interpersonal, and sociomoral domains (Rozin, Haidt, & McCauley, 1999). Whilst the physiological expression of disgust (or “distaste” as it may be more accurately described) is observable from birth (Rosenstein & Oster, 1988), the actual range of stimuli that comes to elicit disgust in an individual is determined socioculturally and, as is argued in the current volume, may extend to incorporate the self (Power & Dalgleish, 1997).

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Medium 9781782204114

Chapter Eight - The Uncanny

Schinaia, Cosimo Karnac Books ePub

The repressed is foreign territory to the ego—internal foreign territory—just as reality (if you will forgive the unusual expression) is external foreign territory.

(Sigmund Freud, 1933a, p. 57)

At the beginning of 19191 Freud writes a brief but fundamental essay (The “Uncanny”, 1919b) based on a 1906 Jentsch article and on a 1914 book (The Double: A Psychoanalytic Study) by his pupil Otto Rank. Freud starts his essay by referring to the many difficulties in translating the title, more precisely the term das Unheimliche,2 into other modern languages. The problem is that other languages do not seem to have an exact equivalent of this word. Freud himself writes (1919b, p. 221): “The Italian and Portuguese languages seem to content themselves with words which we should describe as circumlocutions.”

Its [of the term Unheimlich] peculiar linguistic status, its irreducibility to any closure axiom, its lasting dissimilarity in respect to those expressions that seem to fully understand its meaning, are all things profoundly “uncanny”. Recognising that this term has something that resists definition and that holds language in check causes fear and discomfort. It means to take note of an insurmountable limit in using an apparently omnipotent tool like language. (Curi, 2010, pp. 29–30)

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