18131 Chapters
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Medium 9781855750883

7. The conscious system of the mind

Robert Langs Karnac Books ePub

Our study of Gary’s session suggested a number of aspects of the architecture and functioning of the emotion-processing mind. We had a glimpse of how the conscious system is designed and operates or adapts, and had a chance to compare some of its processing capabilities with those of the deep unconscious system. We want now to concentrate on the conscious system of the mind and to spell out its main structural and functional features. Excerpts from two additional therapy situations will help us in this task.


Mrs Chase was in once-weekly empowered psychotherapy with Mr Hall, a social worker; she was severely depressed. Early in the treatment, Mr Hall came into the waiting-room to escort his patient into his consultation room and, as he did so, inadvertently brushed against her arm.

Once the session began, Mrs Chase reported a dream in which she was at a farm with a college girlfriend, Peggy, They are sitting on some hay in the barn and they are recalling and laughing about a hayride they had taken with their boyfriends when they were in college.

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Medium 9781855756731

23. The Psychic Reality of Unborn Children

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

A YOUNG woman, eight years in mental hospital for manic-depression psychosis, brought two dreams to a session. In the first, she had some difficulty walking because there was a little pocket on the sole of her right foot which contained little sticks.

In the second dream, she had her head thrown back (she stood up to illustrate) and “sick was gushing forth eternally (gesturing with both hands in a way that made it appear that the vomit gushed forth from her mouth and circled in the air to re-enter her body at her genital).

As she rambled on in further description and association to the dream, it became clear that the sticks in the pocket in her sole were arranged like the bones of a little foot, “like phalanges”, “falangists” (laugh). They were like the almond sticks with which she aborted herself the first time (when she was living with a fellow student whom she later married)—”What a bloody mess!” (said with vulgarity and callousness). “Later I thought I could have named him Karl, for Karl Marx.” (The six months fetus was male.) “I was weeping and weeping yesterday and kept saying to myself, ‘Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus’. He’d have been 16 now. It’s no use! Next week is Rosh Hashonah and then Yom Kippur!”

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Medium 9781855757608

4 How to listen and what to interpret

James S. Grotstein Karnac Books ePub

Monitoring the analytic text

I have learned from my own experience and from that of my colleagues and supervisees that the act of monitoring the analysand’s text has become more complicated over the years. Freud (1912b, pp. 11–12) suggested that the analyst should listen with even hovering attention to the analysand’s manifest content until he is able to discern a pattern that he feels able to interpret. Bion (1970, p. 31) suggests the same with his idea of abandoning memory, desire, understanding, and preconceptions. In fact, Bion often suggested, following a letter from Freud to Lou Andreas Salomé (1966, p. 45), that one should “cast a beam of intense darkness into the interior so that something hitherto obscured by the dazzling illumination can glitter all the more in the darkness” (personal communication,1 1974). I advise the beginning psychoanalyst and/or psychotherapist to respect this intuitive mode of listening but not to follow Freud’s and Bion’s advice strictly until they are far enough along in their training and experience. Freud’s and Bion’s advice is based on their taking for granted that the analyst/ therapist had already been schooled and drilled in the basics aspects of analytic theory. A tennis professional recently informed me that, in his opinion, to attain proficiency with my backhand stroke, I would have to hit 2,500 consecutive backhand strokes before I could “forget it and take it for granted”. The same principle applies to conducting psychoanalysis and psychotherapy: Yes, one must forget theory—but only once one has learned and mastered it! One cannot forget a theory one has not yet learned!

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Medium 9781855756571

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Bridging neurobiology, cognitive science and psychoanalysis: Recent contributions to theories of therapeutic action

Karnac Books ePub

Bridging neurobiology, cognitive
science and psychoanalysis:
Recent contributions to theories
of therapeutic action

Sandra G. Hershberg, M.D.

Chapters twelve, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen explore the ways in which knowledge and research about the implicit and explicit domains, in the context of relational experience, reconfigures concepts of memory, learning and a sense of self in the developing brain and, furthermore, contributes to a theory of mind. These findings, particularly in the areas of attachment, infant observation, and neuroscience, emphasize the primacy of relational experience and inform our notions of how psychoanalysis leads to change.

In an effort to achieve a sense of balance between coherence and chaos, Schore, Bucci, Chefetz, and Fosshage, have provided footholds of clarity and understanding as we consider various aspects of the implicit and explicit domains. Schore (1994, 2003a, 2003b, 2010), in his painstaking and creative endeavour to integrate the implicit self, psychoanalysis and neuroscience, focuses on the questions: Where in the brain do we locate the implicit self, that aspect of ourselves which is responsive to non-verbal expressions of emotions, the markers of attachment and emotional connection, and the seat of affect regulation, originally configured between infant and car-egiver? What are the implications of these findings, from his perspective, for the therapeutic process?

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Medium 9781855754669

CHAPTER SIX: Global identity and the superordinate task

Karnac Books ePub

Larry W. Penwell


History is replete with examples of war and other forms of inter-group competition. There are a number of examples of inter-group collaboration. As terms like globalization, the global economy, and the new world order become part of our vocabulary, it is important to look at the processes that underlie the current wish to “think globally”, and to examine some of the fundamental dynamics that may facilitate or hinder that goal.

In this chapter, I explore facets of the human experience that support the likely evolution of some form of human global organizational structure beyond those currently existing. That structure appears to be emerging in various ways, around a variety of tasks, creating networks of people who share common tasks, work methods, and, most importantly, identities that supercede national boundaries. I also suggest various forms of resistance to the formation of a global identity and highlight factors that will dramatically slow the progress of this next level of human organization. I start with an exploration of the very human, very natural, process of organizing. Group dynamics form one of the fundamental cornerstones of our experience as a species and will continue to play a significant role in the move toward global identity. Our individual identities are constructed in the context of the group, and play a significant role in our sense of which groups are part of “us” and which groups are not. As Bion (1961) noted, every human group innately understands every other human group. As part of naturally occurring group processes, each group defines who is and who is not a member. Thus inter-group dynamics are always present, often emerging as inter-group competition or conflict, and, too often, escalate to suspicion, prejudice, stereotyping, hatred, and war. Given our long history with inter-group conflict of all forms, the emergence of a global identity or a new world order seems improbable. However, there are historical examples suggesting that, given the right economic circumstances and sufficient time, the emergence of an organizational structure that could properly be termed a world order is not only possible, but perhaps probable.

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Medium 9781855758285

Chapter Five: Child analysis: when?

Brafman, A.H. Karnac Books ePub

Psychoanalysis is usually seen as a therapy for emotional problems, but psychoanalysts also consider it a research technique and a theory of psychology. Similarly, ‘child analysis’ is seen as a therapeutic technique, though analysts consider it important for two other reasons: (1) the light it throws on our theories of emotional development, and (2) the role it can play in the training of a psychoanalyst of adults. Each of these roles deserves attention in its own right.


In June 1970, the European Psychoanalytical Federation organized a symposium on ‘The role of child analysis in the formation of the psycho-analyst’; the papers given by René Diatkine, Anna Freud, and Hanna Segal were published in 1972 in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and are well worth re-reading. Diatkine focused on the treatment of children by analysis and discussed many of the problems encountered in clinical practice. Diatkine seldom used the word transference, but he stressed how ‘from the very beginning of the cure the psychoanalyst should be for the child the source of both pleasure and aggression and that this ambivalence should not cease to develop thereafter’. The analyst is, therefore, a helpful figure for the child to introject. This is quite a different picture from the usual one of the ‘neutral’ analyst or the image of the analyst who is no more than the transference construct created by the projections of the child.

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Medium 9781782204244

Introduction: The Relationship between Lacan's Seminar III on Psychosis and his Seminar XXIII on the Sinthome

Moncayo, Raul Karnac Books ePub

The relationship between Lacan's Seminar III on psychosis and his Seminar XXIII on the sinthome

The unconscious, foreclosure, the question of Being, the signifier in the Real, are all terms that in one way or another are present in both seminars although they are twenty years apart.

In Seminar III (1955–1956), according to Lacan, the psychotic subject does have an unconscious. This contrasts sharply with the usual psychoanalytic notion that for the psychotic subject there is no repression and the unconscious is all manifest or predominates. In this formulation, repression and the reality ego that make the secondary process and cohesive speech possible, are both missing in psychosis. In the neurotic the unconscious is created through repression, but in psychosis repression fails. But for Lacan although there is no primary repression, in psychosis there is still another defence at play. In psychosis the unconscious is created through foreclosure.

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Medium 9781780490823

Chapter Twelve: Fairbairn: Oedipus reconfigured by trauma

Karnac Books ePub

Eleanore M. Armstrong-Perlman


In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), Thomas Kuhn emphasises how the prevailing paradigm influences scientific endeavour. Data is structured, processed, and given relevance within the framework of the prevailing model. When the paradigm begins to be faced with new data that confront the model, there is a phase of accommodation. The basic theory is stretched to contain the new data in an attempt to preserve the basic structure by various modifications. At this stage, there is resistance to alternative paradigms. It is safer and more comforting to readjust the existing conceptual edifice. But such readjustments create strains and tensions which can lead to the breakdown of the resistance to new paradigms. The proliferation of the epicycles needed to cope with the data within the Ptolemaic system led to the Copernican revolution in astronomy.

I believe that the recent upsurge of interest in the work of Fairbairn is arising from the current tensions and strains facing the Freudian paradigm to accommodate and adjust to new data. In this chapter I hope to clarify how Fairbairn's concept of our fundamental nature is affected by cumulative trauma arising from too misattuned maternal responsiveness. This gives rise to defensive structures necessary for psychological survival, and these are formed in the state of absolute infantile dependence. This is prior to the resolution of the Oedipus complex in the name of preserving the “affectionate current” (Freud, 1910h), with the mother before the advent of the father.

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Medium 9781855752603

1: Theoretical Issues

Waska, Robert Karnac Books ePub


Theoretical issues

“Even in the adult, the judgement of reality is never quite free from the influence of [the] internal world.”

Klein, 1959, p. 250

Under certain circumstances, phantasies of past, current, and impending loss can shade the intrapsychic world. These fears and the repetitive defences that build up to cope with these catastrophic anxieties shape internal and external relationships. The ego forms internal bargains between itself and the object in a desperate attempt to ward off the sense of self and object loss.

As noted, the study of loss and separation within the paranoid–schizoid experience has been rudimentary. Some Kleinians have made mention of it, but they have made no extensive exploration. Jean-Michel Quinodoz (1993) is an exception. His book does a remarkable job of summarizing and exploring Kleinian views of separation anxiety, and he does bring in the element of PI. I add to his investigation by examining the specific unconscious dynamics of loss within the paranoid–schizoid position.

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Medium 9781780490793

CHAPTER EIGHT. Coaching for parents: empowering parents to create positive relationships with their children

Christian van Nieuwerburgh Karnac Books ePub

Agnes Bamford, Nicole Mackew, and Anna Golawski


Coaching for parents has increased in popularity over recent years in recognition of the huge impact that coaching has had in the sports and business sectors. Coaching courses for parents have been successfully delivered in both the corporate world and within schools.

Coaching for parents differs from other traditional parenting interventions in that the coaches are not claiming to be parenting experts, telling parents they are doing something wrong or that they must follow a certain script. The coaching approach focuses on the use of powerful questions to enable parents to understand themselves and their children better; a total belief in parents’ ability to succeed; asking instead of telling; the idea that people have the solutions to their problems within them, and that by owning their own solution they will be more likely to implement it.

We share the view advocated by Guldberg (2009) that parents can often feel undermined by media stories and our safety-obsessed culture. Guldberg encourages parents to trust themselves and each other, while believing they can benefit from insights into how they can deal with common challenges of being parents and discover how fulfilling and enjoyable parenting can be.

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Medium 9781855756212

Chapter Ten: Re-visioning death: In Heidegger

Alapack, Richard J. Karnac Books ePub

Most of us do not know it, but unborn babies within their mothers’ wombs communicate with each other. As a matter of fact, where there are several pregnant women in a neighbourhood, the little embryos chatter daily about the news of their little world.

Now it happened that in one neighbourhood, there were several pregnant mothers and one was carrying twins. And all the other embryos were very proud that they had twins among them. The twins, too, were very glad to have each other.

But then, one of the twins was born premature, and the other twin was left alone in the womb. And when all the other little embryos in the neighbourhood heard of it, they quickly began to call the remaining twin, and all said: “We’re so sorry that your brother was born.”5


Sooner or later somebody in the Western world was bound to emerge to give death its due. Somebody had to comprehend it, not just as concocted in abstract arbitrary ideas, but in the way that we humans actually live it. Someone had to wrest it away from the philosophers and theologians who had framed it such to support Authority—to protect the Power and Money of governments and the Church. Somebody had to arrive who was sufficiently gifted to express an alternative Vision. Such a thinker never could have emerged from within the Club of committed professional rationalists. In fact, Martin Heidegger appears on the historical scene. He replaces the Occident’s substantive way of thinking with a relational one. He gives death … a life of its own.

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Medium 9781782204886

Chapter Five: In Shakespeare do We Trust?

Karnac Books ePub

Sayandeb Chowdhury and Zehra Mehdi

Trust is evanescent. Trust is tenuous. Trust faces its equivocal trajectory in its subtle and somewhat sublime presence in psychoanalysis. Its presence is often evinced through its conspicuous absence in the definition of trust in theory. Except for Erik Erikson (1950), who proposed the notion of “basic trust,” no psychoanalyst offers much of an explanation of trust. It makes one wonder: do psychoanalysts not trust? Of course they do, but psychoanalytically!

Trust in psychoanalytic theory

Psychoanalysis understands the tenuous nature of trust and alludes to it, through implication, in the theory of psychoanalysis. In the earliest writing of Sigmund Freud (1895d), inability to “put up with things” (p. 108) is explored as the possible explanation of paranoia, making it a defense against painful experiences (pp. 109–110). He goes on to develop his theory on paranoia based on projection where “repressed homosexuality” is proffered as the origin of paranoia (1911b, 1915c, 1922b), keeping it within his theory of libido. Though Freud had stated (in a draft of a letter to his friend Wilhelm Fliess) how the primary symptom in paranoia is “distrust that permits the avoidance of self-reproach” (cited in Masson, 1985, p. 160), he went on to develop the crucial role of narcissism in paranoia with no future reference to “trust.” One plausible Freudian understanding of “trust” could be its relation with secondary narcissism1 (1911c), premised at the level of the body-ego libido. The repudiation of libidinal energy from the “object libido” back into the ego libido operates at the level of the body; hence it is the body ego2 (Freud, 1923b) that creates an experience of mistrust, which finds its projection in distrust.3

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Medium 9781855750876

16. Laughter (c. 1913)

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub

THE pleasure and unpleasure mechanism of laughter: a repetition of the pleasure and unpleasure in being born.

* * *

Bergson(p. 26) :2 Bergson recognizes, not laughing, but only laughing at.

Bergson: The laughter laughs at what is dead(the mechanical). Bergson: Because he is disgusted by it. Ferenczi: Because he longs for it {clichi).

* * *

Bergson(p. 27): Why is the mechanical funny? The idea of doing something automatically without any effort of thought is pleasurable(flatters one’s laziness). For example: directing a crowd with a button. The magic of omnipotence. Omnipotence of behaviour or words. The army.

* * *

Predetermination. Automatism just as valid for the tragic as for the comic.

* * *

On Bergson(p. 32): Main argument against Bergson.

Bergson: ‘Rigidity, which is out of harmony with the immanent plasticity of life, provokes laughter’, ‘the mechanical that goes behind life provokes laughter’.(To frighten us away from the rigid, the dead, etc.). He never speaks of the reason for laughter, but only about its purpose.

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Medium 9781910444160

CAPÍTULO 5 - Tres años observando infantes con la señora Bick

Jeanne Magagna Ediciones Karnac ePub

Jeanne Magagna

Hace algunos años, en 1981, la señora Martha Harris, jefa del departamento de Psicoterapia del Niño, que en ese tiempo era la tutora organizadora del Curso de Psicoterapia del Niño en la Tavistock, me pidió que me hiciera cargo de un seminario de observación de infantes para trabajadoras sociales. Aunque había observado un bebé anteriormente, me sentí inadecuada para la tarea, por lo que le pedí a la señora Bick supervisar mi observación de un bebé recién nacido. En 1948, cuando comenzó a enseñar en la Clínica Tavistock, incluyó en el método de formación de psicoterapeutas visitas a una familia para observar el desarrollo de un infante desde el nacimiento hasta los dos años de edad. En este capítulo describo su método de observación de infantes.

Comencé la observación de un infante y su familia cuando la señora Bick tenía 79 años de edad. Esta fue su última experiencia formal de enseñanza. La señora Bick había publicado para entonces tres artículos sobre la importancia de la observación de infantes y ella estaba sumamente interesada en lograr que la observación de infantes contribuyera al trabajo psicoanalítico. Era bien conocida entre sus ex alumnos por sus estándares extremadamente exigentes para la observación. La señora Bick estaba entusiasmada por tener cada pequeño detalle de la observación para poder experimentar con claridad prusiana la relación entre el bebé y su familia. Yo era consciente de que ella se enfrentaba el final de su vida mientras que el bebé comenzaba la suya. Me parecía que su propio “contacto interno” con las ansiedades de morir, le permitían dar vida con máxima sensibilidad a los miedos de desintegración del bebé. La señora Bick tenía tal entusiasmo por la observación de infantes que de algún modo mi supervisión individual con ella se convirtió en un seminario de seis a 13 psicoterapeutas de niños, que estaban haciendo su segunda observación de un infante. Un año de observación se extendió a tres años de observaciones semanales, que presenté en el seminario.

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Medium 9781855759954

2. What Narrative?

Karnac Books ePub

Sebastian Kraemer

Therapists like talking about therapy, about their own kind and about other kinds. Whatever the task, human groups have to reinforce their identity by defining their own special ideas and skills and contrasting them with those of other groups. This tribal process is necessary in any enterprise which demands courage and skill and where there are in the end no right answers. Psychoanalysis and systems are the two tribes I know most about and the differences between them are compulsively interesting to those involved. But there are similarities too. The overriding effort to make sense of psychological or behavioural problems through observation and understanding is common to both practices, even if the techniques are different. Furthermore, there is inevitably a story to be unravelled in either of these kinds of therapy. The original work of psychoanalysis was to discover the nature of past events that had so disturbed the patient that she forgot them and developed psychological symptoms instead.1 The debt owed to psychoanalysis by all subsequent psychotherapies is immense, but rarely acknowledged.

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