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Journal: American journal of psychoanalysis

28

Propelled from the inner circle after publishing The Trauma of Birth (1924), Otto Rank jettisoned Freud’s science of knowing because it denied the intelligence of the emotions. Transforming therapy from knowing to being-in-relationship, Rank invented modern object-relations theory, which advocates continual learning, unlearning and relearning: that is, cutting the chains that bind us to the past. Separating, no matter how anxiety-provoking, from outworn phases of life, including previously taken-for-granted ideologies and internalized others, is essential for self-leadership. In 1926, Rank coined the terms “here-and-now” and “pre-Oedipal.” By 1926, Rank had formulated a model of “creative willing”-self-leadership infused with the intelligence of the emotions-as the optimal way of being-in-relationship with others.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Science, Intelligence, Creativity, Sigmund Freud, Emotional intelligence, Otto Rank

28

Drawing from Elisabeth Young-Bruehl’s psychological and psychodynamic study of prejudice as a starting point, this paper explores the phenomenon of childism-namely, the prejudice again children-from a Rankian psychodynamic perspective. Young-Bruehl argues that childism is comparable to prejudices such as anti-Semitism, sexism, and racism, and serves such purposes as the elimination of an individual’s personhood, sexual exploitation, and the erasure of identity. Adding to Young-Bruehl’s analysis of the social and psychological causes and effects of prejudice against children, this paper will examine the nature and dangers of childism explicit and implicit in the writings of Otto Rank. We will examine the development of creative will in child maturation-a development that childist forms of prejudice may obstruct, inhibit, and compromise. We will see that Young-Bruehl’s foundational writing on childism echoes many of the observations and writings of Otto Rank in regard to the prejudice against children, and how such prejudice deeply diminishes, undermines, and fractures our unfolding lives and creative will in a shared world.

Concepts: Writing, Developmental psychology, Discrimination, Creativity, Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, Carl Rogers

28

Otto Rank (1884-1939) served as Freud’s closest partner in the psychoanalytic movement from 1906 to 1926. From 1923 on, Rank, initially with Ferenczi, focused on making analysis more therapeutic, emphasizing current experience in the session over historical exploration and interpretation. Rank settled on will as a missing factor, and wrote extensively about it after the break with Freud in 1926, when he moved to Paris. He emphasized the here-and-now, redefined “resistance” as a positive aspect of counter-will, and suggested a time limit for analysis. Ousted from analytic circles in 1930, he eventually moved to New York, continuing to treat patients and teach until his unexpected death at 55 in 1939. After decades of obscurity, Rank has gained readers and therapists whose orientation is interpersonal, client-centered, relational, humanistic, or existential. His influence on post-Freudian ego-psychology is finally being acknowledged as are his ideas about creativity, will, life-fear and death-fear, guilt, and ethics.

Concepts: Psychology, 2008, Psychotherapy, Humanistic psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, 2007

25

After reviewing the pertinent philosophical and psychoanalytic writings on the concept of dignity, this paper proposes three categories of dignity. Conceptualized as phenomenological clusters, heuristic viewpoints, and levels of abstraction, these include (i) metaphysical dignity which extends the concept of dignity beyond the human species to all that exists in this world, (ii) existential dignity which applies to human beings alone and rests upon their inherent capacity for moral transcendence, and (iii) characterological dignity which applies more to some human beings than others since they possess a certain set of personality traits that are developmentally derived. The paper discusses the pros and cons of each category and acknowledges the limitations of such classification. It also discusses the multiple ways in which these concepts impact upon clinical work and concludes with some remarks on the relationship of dignity to choice, narcissism, and suicide.

Concepts: Psychology, Ontology, Idea, Thought, Concept, Metaphysics, Abstraction, Category of being

25

Psychically immigrants live double lives, simultaneously dwelling in the world they have left and the world in which they live, and into which most try to fit to avoid the alienating experience of being “other”. Doubleness is not a conscious act, but it is a preconscious counterpoint to just about every social interaction. I argue that successful psychodynamic treatment allows immigrants to take the doubleness for granted, in effect seeing double and being double. In this way they come to effortlessly privilege one self-state over the other. The recognition and acceptance of competing self-states proves transformative in any treatment, but never more so than in working with immigrants who contend with several culturally competing selves in their daily lives and seek one relationship in which they can all be seen and heard. I describe treating an immigrant who, when I began to work with her, excelled at seeing double, but being double posed a terrifying dilemma. At least two self-states were engaged in a tug of war; she feared that the winner would take all.

Concepts: Sociology, Europe, Immigration, World, Self, Immigration to the United States, Walk This Way, War

25

In the Clinical Diary of Sándor Ferenczi, certain codes and abbreviations are used to refer to the eight patients Ferenczi was treating in 1932. The identities of two patients are known to us. Notably, Dm. (Clara Thompson), and R.N. (Elizabeth Severn), but the others have remained a mystery. This paper uncovers the identities of the other patients in the Diary, and, for the first time, reveals their identities and life stories. Biographical notes on these patients are provided to expand and contextualize our understanding of their lives-Who were they? What kind of families did they come from? And what happened to them after their analyses? The process of uncovering their identities and the ethics of writing about historical patients will also be addressed.

Concepts: Knowledge, Autobiography, The Diary of a Young Girl, What Happened

25

The aim of this paper is to provide a short history of the changes in Ferenczi’s concept of early childhood, during the two decade period, 1913-1932. Initially, Ferenczi mainly emphasized children’s feelings of omnipotence, which enable them to perceive themselves as strong, independent and capable human beings. By the mid-1920s, however, he felt that his earlier work did not give a good account of what comes after the stage of omnipotence, and that it did not adequately describe the difficulties in the transition from pleasure to reality principles. However, in his Clinical Diary, Ferenczi became fully aware of how fragile and insecure children are, and therefore how dangerous-yet necessary-it is for them to abandon the “stage of omnipotence” and to gain a “sense of reality”. For Ferenczi, traumatized children are children who had not been loved in their early childhood, and therefore could not develop the capacity to make the journey from pleasure principle to that of reality. It will be suggested that a paradigmatic example for this kind of child is Peter Pan.

Concepts: Human, Perception, Child, Childhood, Ontology, Developmental psychology, David Bowie

25

The aim of this article is to revisit Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary (1932) to investigate the influence he had on Melanie Klein’s work. It starts from the position that insufficient recognition has been given to Ferenczi’s contribution to Klein’s body of work and her professional development. Her analysis with Ferenczi lasted 5 years, a relatively long analysis for the period. It explores his influence in three specific areas: the importance of raw and early emotion in the maternal bond, the importance of freedom and authenticity in the analytic relationship, and finally the use of transference and countertransference feelings. Ferenczi’s ill-fated experiment with mutual analysis will be discussed as it opened up a route to explore the analytic relationship, with important consequences for the future development of psychoanalysis.

Concepts: Psychology, Futures contract, Position, Long, Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Transference

0

It is argued that in the effective psychotherapy of patients suffering with severe trauma, there is always blood that is shed. This blood may be metaphorical but is often literal. In its absence, it is unlikely that anything of real value has occurred.

Concepts: Psychotherapy

0

The devastating effect on the self of moral injury, often a core component of trauma, occurring when one’s actions have profoundly violated one’s code of ethics, when one has been a victim of such violation, or when one has been a passive witness, has been extensively explored as it has occurred in veterans of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Two examples illustrate its prevalence in civilian life. The literature shows violation of expected empathy from and for others, inherent in our nature, is more devastating than violation of the ethical code of our culture or sub-culture, adherence to which becomes urgent as our need emerges to belong to the culture or subculture of which we are a part, values which often contradict our innate sense of “what is right.”

Concepts: DNA, Culture, Ethics, Virtue, Morality, Business ethics, Social philosophy, Subculture