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8. Starting analysis

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

Before considering the suitability of a patient for analytical therapy it is necessary to be sure that the condition for which he has come for an interview is not due to an organic disease such as brain tumour, disseminated sclerosis and so forth. Organic disease has usually been already excluded but must be kept in mind in case an error in diagnosis has been made. The subject of psychosomatic disorders, such as asthma, eczema, migraine, is more difficult, for though it appears that they are sometimes helped by psychotherapy, the grounds for so thinking are empirical and not well understood. So treatment for their physical aspect must be ensured, and additional evidence looked for when considering the desirability of analytical therapy.

It is in line with anxiety about missing an organic disease that, at one time, psychotherapy was recommended on a negative diagnosis: if the cause of a patient’s distress was not physical, then it was thought to be psychological. Today, however, an analytical therapist does not think this sufficient; he will want to arrive at a positive assessment as to whether the patient is likely to benefit from the long and often arduous treatment.

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Mediation of the image of infant-mother togetherness

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

KATHLEEN NEWTON
1965

I am going to discuss the image of infant-mother togetherness which appeared in the analytical material of one of my patients, and its relevance to the original self, unconscious identity, and infantile omnipotence on the one hand, and to a body image and ego integration on the other.

Of this image of togetherness, Jung writes in ‘Psychological aspects of the mother archetype’ (1936):

‘The carrier of the archetype is in the first place the personal mother, because the child lives at first in a complete participation with her, and in a state of unconscious identity. She is the psychic as well as the physical precondition of the child. With the awakening of ego consciousness the participation gradually weakens, and consciousness begins to enter into opposition with the unconscious, its own precondition. This leads to the differentiation of the ego from the mother’, (p. 102).

Jung here depicts the infant’s state of unconscious identity with the mother. It is a state in which there is no consciousness of boundaries; the infant, therefore, is unable to distinguish in terms of actuality between himself and the world. When there is no differentiation between inner and outer there is in effect only ‘oneness’. Marion Milner (1956) puts it imaginatively when she says that the infant experiences this as a feeling that his mother’s arms are his own creation—’All heaven is ours and all power’. She goes on to say that this state in which the baby is omnipotent is inevitably broken up with the frustration of instinctual experiences.

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R. GORDON : Transference as the fulcrum of analysis

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

ROSEMARY GORDON

This paper will be concerned primarily with a discussion of the place and the function of transference analysis, and with the exploration of the parallels between the analyst’s concept of human relationships—based as it is on the studies of the analytical process—and those of Martin Buber. I intend to show in this paper that the exploration of the transference that the analyst undertakes together with his patients has really as its goal a shift in the character and quality of a person’s relationships away from the ‘I-It’ towards the ‘I-Thou’ attitude, as these have been defined by Buber. The parallel to which I shall point in this paper should not, of course, mislead the reader to assume that the theories of Jung and Buber are at all points closely related. On the contrary, there are very many important differences between them, but in the area of the evaluation of human relationships the correspondences seem to me worth noting and exploring.

Jung, in his paper entided ‘The therapeutic value of abreac-tion’, which he published in the British journal of psychology in 1921 and which now forms part of volume 16 of the Collected works, discusses the origin and the function of transference in analysis as follows (I shall quote from it fairly extensively, since it is very pertinent to my theme):

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2. The development of Jung's thesis

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

In the early days of their investigations analytical therapists concentrated on recording the behaviour of patients. They assumed that their own influence was not primarily important in influencing the communications to which they listened. The patient was treated as a closed system which could be observed and investigated after the manner of medicine and surgery. It was then that therapists thought they were proceeding scientifically. Such was Jung’s attitude when he approached psychiatry to conduct his experimental researches. It was in the same spirit that he became a psychoanalyst and learned Freud’s method which he pursued in many of his later discoveries and in his critical assessment of Freud’s work.

Jung always considered that analytical psychology and psychoanalysis were related disciplines and he persistently paid tribute to the importance of Freud’s work in the scientific and therapeutic fields. There can be no doubt, for instance, that he understood the nature of the psychoanalytical method even when he challenged the uses to which it was put. He also grasped the importance of transference, in which the patient’s perceptual experience of his therapist becomes distorted by images containing memories of the patient’s experience of his parents in infancy.

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M. FORDHAM: Counter-transference

Michael Fordham Karnac Books ePub

MICHAEL FORDHAM

In getting up to open a symposium that is to continue next month, I am reminded of another one some years ago on archetypes and internal objects. Then it was decided that a psychoanalyst and an analytical psychologist should make parallel statements on each topic without reference to each other, to see what emerged in the discussion.

I do not believe that our committee altogether realized that they had asked the same speakers to begin again and, I believe, in the same order, but here the similarity virtually ends. For my part I could not say that what I said then was influenced at all by reading psychoanalytic literature, for everything worth while that had been said about archetypes had been written by Jung, and it was quite unclear whether his theory had any relevance to that of internal objects. This time the picture is radically different.

Starting from a critical study of Jung’s formulations, attempts have been made and are continuing to be made by several analysts to supplement his conceptions and to describe practice in relation to their own thinking. These researches have led to study of the writings of psychoanalysts who have developed concepts much nearer to our own than heretofore, and it has been possible to hold discussions with them. These I take to be one origin of this symposium.

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