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5. Early Developmental States of the Ego. Primary Object-love (1937)

Balint, Michael Karnac Books ePub

THE genetic approach is the principal method we use in our science of psycho-analysis; a mental phenomenon observed in the present is explained by tracing it back to a previous one, and by demonstrating how far and by what external and internal influences the previous process was changed into the present one. This crab-like thinking must, however, come to a halt somewhere, i.e. where the previous earlier phenomenon, the original one, can no longer be observed but must be inferred from what can be observed. In the early years of psychoanalysis theoretical research reached as far as the Oedipus situation, i.e. to the third to fifth year of life. The theoretical gains thus achieved led to greater power of observation and in turn the better-trained observers could verify all the theoretical assumptions.

Naturally research has not come to a standstill, and time and again attempts have been made to infer still earlier mental states from observations. This new situation, however, is utterly different from the previous one. Then only one theory, or, more correctly, two complementary theories—that of the classic Oedipus situation and that of the polymorph-perverse nature of infantile sexuality—were under discussion, today we have to deal with several theories that often contradict one another. Slight differences in theoretical constructions are understandable, but we hear and read of theories which diverge considerably and are often diametrically opposed. These differences somehow seem to depend on geography in a way that justifies one in speaking of regional opinions. Probably each one of us will protest against his ideas being submerged in a regional opinion and will quote sharp controversies within his own group; still the results of his work appear to a distant observer as one or more notes in a regional harmony. Such ‘regional‘— not quite identical but consonant—opinions have been formed during the last years2 in London, in Vienna and in Budapest.

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Medium 9781782200925


Espy, John C. Karnac Books PDF



After school started Lori and Gerald were still talking about getting a new place but hadn’t done anything about it. They were three months behind on their rent and the landlord was beginning to hound them something awful, always knocking on their door wanting his money. Lori told him he’d get it when she had it.

Late on a Friday night in October, Lori, Gerald and the boys moved into a small pink house not too far from Roland’s high school. She didn’t leave a forwarding address with anyone except Bar Jonah. Usually they wrote each other about once a week. Bar Jonah didn’t get over there much at all. It was too far to drive and he didn’t have much money. He was also working more hours at Hardee’s. But he sure missed her and the boys.

Someday they were going to have to set some time aside to have a big dinner, Bar Jonah wrote.

A couple of months after school started, Bar Jonah began visiting Lincoln Elementary almost exclusively. A couple of the teachers at the other schools commented that they were surprised Bar Jonah hadn’t been coming around on patrol. He said

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Medium 9781782203551

Chapter Three - The National Habitus: Steps towards Reintegrating Sociology and Group Analysis

Karnac Books ePub

Gad Yair

In addition to the constitutional and institutional foundations of the state and its political economy, the nation state has a psychosocial foundation—a “national habitus”. The concepts of homo nationis and national habitus underscore that modern individuals are historical individuals, in that they have personality structures that are unlike those of individuals in other historical epochs, and that they should be explicitly conceptualised as such, rather than as a trans-historical homo economicus or homo sociologicus.

(Pickel, 2004)

Just about a century ago, sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists profitably shared worldviews, read each other's work, and cited across disciplinary divides (Fromm, 1963). Durkheim and Freud, indeed, shared common understandings of unconscious elements and sought analytic ways to tie them to social practices and cultural values (Durkheim, 1951; Freud, 1930a). In the heyday of Parsonian sociology, Freudian psychological elements proved crucial in the functionalist hierarchical model of society (Parsons, 1964)—integrating the success of the schools of “culture and personality” and studies of “national character” (Benedict, 1947; DeVos, 1968; Martindale, 1967; Mead, 1965). However, a short while into the 1960s, the theoretical connections between psychology, anthropology, and sociology were severed. E. Adamson Hoebel, president of the American Anthropological Association declared in 1967 that “In the brief span of less than two decades, anthropological involvement in the systematic study of national character has waxed to a high pitch of enthusiasm and waned to a tiny ripple of continuing interest”. Spiro had a similar portrayal regarding the scientific path of the idea of “national character”, saying that “[H]aving succeeded in legitimizing the use of personality concepts by anthropology, it might be argued that [national character study's] original mission has come to an end” (quoted by Inkeles & Levinson, 1997). Fifty years after Parsonian grand integrations, sociology, anthropology, and psychology parted ways.

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Medium 9781855751910

7. Comments on the psychodynamics of interaction

Sandler, Anne-Marie; Sandler, Joseph Karnac Books ePub


In this chapter an attempt is made to show how the externaliza-tion of the unconscious phantasy derivatives of internal object relationships by both analyst and patient can interact, making it vital for the analyst to keep in touch with his countertransfer-ence. The need to use both one-person and two-person models in order to understand such interaction is illustrated by a rather graphic clinical example.

* * *

One of the major theoretical issues in considering processes of interaction is the question of whether it is appropriate to use a one-person or two-person frame of reference. This is a complicated issue and one that cannot be answered simply by saying that the psychoanalytic model of the mind is a one-person model on the grounds that all information arising from the outside does so as mental representations of one sort or another. Furthermore, it could be said that the essence of the psychoanalytic point of view is that these representations, and all our feelings, are profoundly affected by what arises from the inside. In a paper some time ago1I suggested that the theoretical models, theories, or schemata used by psychoanalysts are not fully integrated with one another, and that there were significant differences between our private psychoanalytic theories and what I called the “public” or “official” theories of psychoanalysis. I suggested that the complex private preconscious working model of the psychoanalyst—essentially a set of not-very-well-integrated part-theories—had an important advantage over the public or “official” ones in that “such a loosely jointed theory… allows developments in psychoanalytic theory to take place without necessarily causing radical disruptions.”

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Medium 9781855752948

CHAPTER TWO. Leadership, followership, and facilitating the creative workplace

Karnac Books ePub

Anton Obholzer with Sarah Miller


Leadership would be easy to achieve and manage if it weren’t for the uncomfortable reality that without followership there could be no leadership except, perhaps, of a delusional sort. What is more, for the organization to be creative it requires followership to be an active process of participation in the life of the common venture, and this, in itself, may carry with it some discomfort.

By definition there is thus an inherent tension between leadership and followership. This chapter is an attempt to address the complexity of this interface, to place the relationship in the context of the overall containing organization, and to investigate some of the factors that make for, and facilitate, a creative versus a stuck workforce and workplace. It is worth noting that in many other models of leadership and of management, working at understanding one’s experience and the experience of others in connection with management do not necessarily go together. Further, that the sort of personal work and institutional introspection that goes with the approach to be described here is seen as unnecessary, gratuitous navel-gazing. The chapter postulates this latter view to be profoundly shortsighted.

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