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2. Psycho-Analysis and Child Care

John D. Sutherland Karnac Books ePub

By JOHN BOWLBY, M.A., M.D.

PERHAPS no other field of contemporary thought shows the influence of Freud’s work more clearly than that of child care. Although there had always been those who had known that the child was father to the man and that mother-love gave something indispensable to the growing infant, before Freud these age-old truths had never been the subjects of scientific inquiry; they were therefore readily brushed aside as unvalidated sentimentality. Freud not only insisted on the obvious fact that the roots of our emotional life lie in infancy and early childhood, but also sought to explore in a systematic way the connection between events of early years and the structure and function of later personality.

Although, as we all know, Freud’s formulations have met with much opposition—as recently as 1950 eminent psychiatrists were telling us that there was no evidence that what happens in the early years is of relevance to mental health—today many of his basic propositions are taken for granted. Not only do we find popular journals like Picture Post telling its public that ‘the unhappy child becomes the unhappy neurotic adult’ and that what is important is ‘the behaviour of those amongst whom a child grows up; … and, in the earliest years, especially the behaviour of the mother’ (1); but these views are echoed in the publications of Whitehall. The Home Office in describing the work of its Children’s Department notes that ‘A child’s past experiences play a vital part in his development, and continue to be important to him …’ and advises that ‘The aim should be to secure as far as possible that each baby is cared for regularly by the same person’. (2) Finally there is a report (3) prepared by a committee appointed by the Minister of Education which deals comprehensively with all the problems of the maladjusted child. It bases its recommendations uncompromisingly on such propositions as ‘Modern research suggests that the most formative influences are those which the child experiences before he comes to school at all, and that certain attitudes have by then taken shape which may affect decisively the whole of his subsequent development’, and ‘Whether a child is happy and stable in this period (later childhood), or unhappy and out of step with society or with his lessons, largely depends on one thing—the adequacy of his early nurture’. In celebrating the centenary of the birth of the founder of psycho-analysis it is fitting that we should record this revolution in contemporary thought.

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Medium 9781855758216

CHAPTER THREE. Emotion regulation and the role of defences

Neborsky, Robert J.; ten Have-de Labije, Josette Karnac Books ePub

The road to the patient’s unconscious is in the patient and not in the book (not even in this one!), and establishing a conscious and unconscious working alliance is dependent on the therapist’s expertise to assess the nature and degree of the patient variables that function as red and green traffic lights on this road. Thus, we first want to elaborate on such patient variables as how healthy versus unhealthy is the regulation of the patient’s emotions, and what is the function of the patient’s defences in the patient’s particular emotional regulation process? All of our patients who come for help have a certain degree of unhealthy regulation of emotions.

The consequences of failures in a healthy regulation of emotions range from personal distress and unhappiness to socially maladaptive and self-destructive patterns of behaviour. The more our patients are located on the right side of Davanloo’s spectrum of structural neurosis, the more their emotions and anxiety are regulated in an unhealthy way, the more these patients exert self-destructive patterns of behaviour in their interactions with themselves and with important and unimportant others.

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Medium 9781855751040

4. Holding: recognizing, accepting, understanding, containing, organizing, integrating, metabolizing, and other such

Klein, Josephine Karnac Books ePub

I wonder why our theoretical interests have, for nearly a century, allowed us as a matter of course to refer back and forth between adult and infantile forms of love, or hate, while ignoring so much of the adult’s and the child’s need to hold and be held? The infant’s need for holding does not vanish as it grows older, leaving no residue behind; common sense suggests that the need transforms itself into more and more mature forms, just as other infantile needs do. Of course, generations of psychotherapists have been conscientiously taught to use each holiday-break to explore their patients’ dependency-needs. And for decades we have had the inspiration of Bowlby’s painstaking work on attachment, and a great deal is being said about “containment”. Yet I think there must be a gap in our perceptual apparatus, which prevents us from seeing infantile dependency-needs in our adult patient’s longing to be held. Partly we may explain this gap in theory by noting that Freud’s mother does not seem to have been much of a cuddling woman (Freud Research Group, 1991). Also, Freud was a man, and It can be argued that the male’s need to be held moves to some extent from a whole-skin experience to concentration on the penis.

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Medium 9781855751811

APPENDIX

Judy Hildebrand Karnac Books ePub

We are two graduates from an advanced family therapy training programme, and we are interested in the effects of the Personal and Professional Development Module on therapists,

In order for us to understand the relationship between the PPD module and clinical practice, we would like to ask you some questions to explore this further and thank you for participating in this project,

Your confidentiality is assured. Names and any identifying material will be changed.

1. Sex of trainee (M/F)

2. Age range:

21-30 years 31-40 41-50 51-60

3. Basic professional training, including any family therapy training prior to this most recent advanced training course.

4. Type and length of course undertaken/being undertaking.

5. What is your idea of the aim of a PPD module?

6. Does/did this module fit with your expectations? Please describe.

7. Please pick out examples of any experiences during the course that were significant to you and explain why.

8. Did they affect you personally? If so, in what way(s)?

9. Did they affect you professionally? If so, in what way(s)?

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Medium 9781782200109

Chapter Three - Clinical Significance

P.C. Sandler Karnac Books ePub

The quotations and variations about Bion’s “pursuit of truth-O” may serve as a sample of the following book: an introductory example of a mode to detect and use in everyday practice the many psychoanalytical truths one may find in reading A Memoir of the Future. “A” mode means one among many possibilities, a quantity which tends to be infinite.

In Transformations Bion commented that a book with no explicit comments on issues such as transference and Oedipus is ill received by the average adherent of the psychoanalytical establishment. It should not be a surprise that the Trilogy was met with disparagement: its dialogical form was taken concretely, rather than as a form that could reflect the purest psychoanalytic method. Freud stated that psychoanalysis happens when two people converse freely; the “talking cure” proved to be much more talking than cure (Freud, 1940).

To the reader unfamiliar with A Memoir of the Future, perhaps a little patience will be helpful in putting up with its quasi-dialogical mode of writing, built up with the help of imaginative quasi-characters drawn from real life experiences. Of these, Bion, Myself and P.A. merit clarification right at the start. They form an intertwined “triple character”: BionMyselfP.A. The character appears in these three guises (for the sake of brevity, from now I will refer to them just as characters):

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