18 Chapters
Medium 9781855755703

Chapter 1: The self in transformation: the analyst in transformation

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

This current volume of papers written and collected during the course of some twenty years of clinical and professional activity represents a work in progress of a Jungian analyst, trained in London, deeply identified with a Jungian approach to the psyche and its ongoing development, who at the same time is open and responsive to influences of other contemporary Jungian and psychoanalytic thinking and development. In fact, what strikes me as I reflect with hindsight on the process of gathering these papers into a format which will, I hope, convey structure as well as a view of the development of a clinical and theoretical reflection, is that it follows a path of connected points of reflection that was not envisaged as I alighted at each stage on a topic that gripped me at the time. Looking back, however, it is possible to perceive that this series of clinical and theoretical reflections represents an ongoing enquiry into the nature of psychological change, growth, and development, which is at the heart of the clinical work of depth psychologists.

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Chapter 5: Recent developments in the neurosciences

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

This chapter will seek to show how the archetypal and T developmental analytic traditions can be correlated theoretically through an examination of the recent literature on the implications of early intersubjective exchanges, especially those between the infant and its mother, and the neural and biochemical consequences of such exchanges.

Since this chapter was first written in the late 1990s and subsequently published (Solomon, 2000), many more articles and books have appeared that bring forward the enquiry regarding the connections between depth psychology and further new discoveries in the neurosciences. Two notable extended studies by Jungian analysts are recommended to the interested reader for their relevance to the growing understanding of the overlap between Jungian theory and practice and findings from cognitive and neurosciences. Jean Knox in Archetypes, Attachment, Analysis: Jungian Psychology and the Emergent Mind (Knox, 2003) has offered a revision of Jung's archetypal model and the emergence of symbolic meaning through a close study of attachment theory. Similarly, in Coming into Mind: The Mind-Brain Relationship: A Jungian Clinical Perspective (Wilkinson, 2006), Margaret Wilkinson has made a detailed investigation of the relevance of current neuroscientific findings in Jungian clinical practice, and at the same time demonstrates how Jungian theory and practice are supported by neuroscientific findings.

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Chapter 10: Self creation in face of the void: the “as if” personality

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter I discuss a particular state of the self, which I think of as a defence of the self, and which I have come to call the “as if” personality. This derives from work I have done with a number of patients whom I have treated or supervised in intensive, long-term analytic work. I began to notice a recognizable pattern and shape to the psychic life and personal histories in patients who, despite often very disturbed backgrounds, including physiological and/or psychological neglect and abuse, nevertheless had managed to become high and valuable achievers in the outside world; creative people making substantial and valid contributions of quality and distinction to their profession or field of work. In order to do so, they had called up extraordinary internal reserves and resources that nevertheless were limited in nature by the very fact that their internal worlds were not populated by nourishing objects, leaving the self depleted. Thus, at a certain moment, either just before or during entering analysis (and it might be their second or third analysis), they became stricken with an overwhelming sense that whatever internal resources they had been able to find to sustain them along their developmental path had now been used up. The self had finally to face a long repressed but often suspected, underlying internal reality, a hauntingly ever-present background sense of living in a void or facing a vast emptiness; an absence devoid of those resources formally used to nourish and sustain the self. Instead, a primary existential anguish or panic, a sense that life was no longer sustainable on the basis that it had been lived, would often be accompanied by areal physical illness or dysfunction that put actual survival into question.

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Chapter 12: The ethical attitude: a bridge between psychoanalysis and analytical psychology

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

The expectation that high ethical standards be consistently maintained in clinical practice is common to psychoanalysis and analytical psychology. Both the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) and the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) have this principle enshrined in their constitutions and Codes of Ethics, and as a matter of good governance review their ethics provisions on a regular basis. However, with some notable exceptions, pragmatic ethics does not receive much exposure, if at all, in training curricula. Even less, theories about the origins and functioning of an ethical capacity or attitude in human beings rarely appear in analytic literature. We insist on “high ethical standards” but what is our psychodynamic understanding underlying these principles? We require at the institutional level that ethics be taken as a core value, but we seem not to address the bases for this core value within the personality.

It is, therefore, surprising that there is a dearth of theoretical work or published clinical material within psychoanalysis or analytical psychology that seeks directly to address the nature and origins of the ethical attitude, whether in developmental or archetypal terms.1 Furthermore, there is little attempt to locate it as an intrinsic component of the self and of the analytic attitude that seeks to protect the development of the self and the relationship between patient and analyst.

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Clinical explorations: the self, its defences, and transformations

Solomon, Hester McFarland Karnac Books ePub

This section comprises five clinically based accounts of intensive analytical work with patients, or supervision of patients, in T long-term intensive analysis.

Chapter 6, “The not-so-silent couple in the individual”, examines the nature of the self, with its foundation in the concept of a primary self, which may achieve a sense of coherence over time, and the nature of internal objects, a concept that forms the basis of theories concerning part selves and sub-personalities. These concepts might be integrated to provide a unified model of the self, thereby integrating theoretically disparate aspects of mental structure and functioning. Through an examination of clinical material, the archetype of the coniunctio is evoked to offer an understanding of how, in the absence of a stable conjunction of (maternal) reverie and (paternal) thinking functions, a series of linked but oppositional internal couples may be created, which lends to the self either the experience of a combined and sustaining inner couple, or an internal warring couple, to the detriment of an integrated self.

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