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Halina Brunning Karnac Books ePub


In this chapter I am going to describe how, in developing a coaching relationship, I have used other sources of information, beyond the usual verbal or, indeed, written, information normally provided by clients. The two methods I have used most frequently are personality measures and 360 Degree Feedback; what one might term “inside-out” and “outside-in” sources. I will begin by describing, briefly, something about these sources and what I consider to be their advantages when used in a coaching relationship. I will then present a case study, reflect on it, and briefly consider Brunning’s recent model of coaching as a way of examining what, consequently, was and was not explored with the client.

For some readers of this chapter, and in particular those of a psychodynamic, relativistic, person-centred, postmodern, or even constructionist persuasion, the notion of including external data may perhaps sit uncomfortably with their underlying epistemological position. By the end of the chapter, I hope to show that, notwithstanding the basically humanistic, and perhaps even psychodynamic, perspective that I personally tend to employ, personality instruments can be helpful in understanding certain aspects of personality, and in structuring engagement, communication, and thinking with the client, while 360 Degree Feedback presents a powerful way of engaging with the client’s reality and priorities.

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CHAPTER FOUR: A separate reality

Jurgen Reeder Karnac Books ePub

In accordance with the critique raised against reductionism in ch. 1 and developed in ch. 3, it is of central importance for our further investigation to choose a path that will not lead back to representationalism. In contradistinction to the kind of psychologistic view that easily arises as a consequence of such a metaphysic, we have emphasized the radical difference between the processes of the unconscious and the separate reality of the ego. Thus we can claim that there is no correspondence between our conscious world and a parallel “inner world”, and what manifests itself on the level of consciousness is not reducible to unconscious contents.

So far, when touching upon how interpreting is informed, we have only brought the issue up in terms of the meaning emanating from the unconscious thought processes and set in motion in the hermeneutic circle. We have in other words only dealt with the “what?” of discourse—”what is spoken of?”—but as yet not much has been said concerning its “how?”, i.e. that which has to do with the form and style of discourse. Another way of putting this would be to say that, in the following we are going to look into the independent contribution made by interpreting in the transformation of meaning that takes place in the hermeneutic circle, and how this contributes to the constitution of a psychological “reality” which, by definition, is separate from the evanescent presence and reality of immediate experience. The foremost form of interpreting for the construction and maintenance of such a separate reality lies in our narrative activity, and the reason “[w]e tell stories [is] because in the last analysis human lives need and merit being narrated” (Ricoeur, 1983, p. 75).

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Medium 9780946439980

17 February 1960

Wilfred R. Bion Karnac Books ePub

Animism, destructive attacks and reality

In the earliest phases of development objects are felt to be alive and to possess character and personality presumably indistinguishable from the infant's own. In this phase, which may be considered as anterior to the development of the reality principle as Freud describes it, the real and the alive are indistinguishable; if an object is real to the infant, then it is alive; if it is dead, it does not exist. But this ‘it’ that does not exist and is not alive—why is it necessary to talk about it or discuss it? The problem is to give an answer verbally about objects in a pre-verbal state. The difficulty will constantly crop up in what I have to say, and my solution of it will constantly demand indulgent understanding from the reader.

In this instance it is necessary to talk about this object which should be non-existent and therefore impossible to discuss. Its importance lies in the fact that the infant, if enraged, has death wishes, and if the object is wished dead, it is dead. It therefore has become non-existent, and its characteristics are different from those of the real, live, existing object; the existing object is alive, real, and benevolent. (I propose to call the real, alive objects α-elements; the dead, unreal objects I shall call β-elements.) In order to distinguish the distinction between real and unreal that I am making here, from the distinction between real and unreal which is appropriate to Freud's description of the interplay between pleasure principle and reality principle, I shall call these objects proto-real objects belonging to the domain of proto-reality. The infant, in all the early phases of its life, is dominated by the pleasure principle. It is therefore, in so far as it feels pleasure, surrounded by these proto-real objects felt to be real and alive. But should pain supervene, then it is surrounded by dead objects destroyed by its hate, which, since it cannot tolerate pain, are non-existent. But ordinarily they continue to exist because the sense impressions still operate. Should intolerance of these objects grow beyond a certain point, then the infant commences attacks on the mental apparatus that informs it of the reality of these sense impressions and of some object that is felt to be beyond the sense impressions. The existence of the real objects can be denied, but the sense impressions persist, e.g. after the eyes have been shut. It is therefore felt that the real objects have now forced their way into the personality. The next stage, imposed by yet more powerful intolerance, is the destruction of the apparatus that is responsible for the transformation of the sense impressions into material suitable for waking unconscious thought—a dream-thought. This destruction contributes to the feeling that ‘things’, not words or ideas, are inside.

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Naomi Lloyd Karnac Books PDF



hortly after my return to Anna I watched a documentary on the

1944 Warsaw Uprising. This depicted how, as the Nazis began to take over the city, people tried to escape by crawling through the sewers to reach unoccupied areas. The documentary film included original footage portraying this, as well as interviews with survivors of the horrifying mass slaughter of those two months. I found it deeply disturbing, and though I have no recollection of discussing with Anna any possible connection with my collective unconscious memory, I believe it was this that provoked another disturbing dream:

I have a strong sense of danger. Something threatening is happening in the world around me but I’m not sure what it is.

I need to go to my mother who lives in a house in the remote countryside, but for some reason I know I can’t go there by road.

I have to find a ‘secret’ way of getting there unseen.

I find myself crawling through a long, dark tunnel which I believe will lead me to my mother’s house. It is tiled and the walls are wet and wide, like a sewer pipe. I know I’m getting near the end of the tunnel but there is no light. Suddenly I reach the exit and realise that

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Chapter Four: Are Freud’s hypotheses on children’s dreams empirically testable?

Claudio Colace Karnac Books ePub

In the following pages, I try to show that Freud’s statements on children’s dreams have been formulated in such a way that they may be subject to empirical control.

Before doing this, two matters preliminary to this discussion should be analysed, at least briefly. These are, first, the question of the empirical testability of psychoanalysis in the recent epistemo-logical debate and, second, the issue, viewed particularly within the scientific community on dream research, of the alleged empirical untestability of Freud’s dream theory.

Popper’s criticism (1959, 1963) of psychoanalysis moves from his attempt to analyse the scientific method in order to identify a specific criterion to dividing empirical sciences on one side and pseudo-sciences on the other (i.e., the problem of demarcation).

Popper believed that the inductivist method criterion used until then to distinguish scientific theories from metaphysical ones had to be abandoned for being too permissive. In fact, according to Popper, the inference based on a certain number of observations as the foundation for building a theory, apart from being unreasonable, cannot or should not be considered a scientific procedure. Psychoanalysis represented, for Popper, the paradigmatic example of a theory that, even if lacking scientific standards, would be recognized due to the excessively broad range of the inductive demarcation criterion.

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