Friday, June 17, 2011

Two Week Hiatus

The Psychoanalytic Muse will be on hiatus for the next two weeks because I will be on vacation and away from internet access.  Thank you for taking an interest in this web-blog.  In just three months The Psychoanalytic Muse has had over 2000 viewings in 43 countries.  Please check back on July 5th when I will resume my regular bi-weekly postings of excerpts from the literature of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology.

Mark Winborn

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gus Cwik on Associative Dreaming and the Analytic Third

"The idea of countertransference has expanded beyond its original meaning of a neurotic reaction to include all reactions of the therapist: affective, bodily, and imaginal. Additionally, Jung’s fundamental insight in Psychology of the Transference was that a "third thing" is created in the analysis, but he failed to demonstrate how this third is experienced and utilized in analysis. This "analytic third", as Ogden names it, is co-created by analyst and analysand in depth work and becomes the object of analysis. Reverie, as developed by Bion and clinically utilized by Ogden, provides a means of access to the unconscious nature of this third. Reverie will be placed on a continuum of contents of mind, ranging from indirect to direct associative forms described as associative dreaming. Active imagination, as developed by Jung, provides the paradigm for a mode of interaction with these contents within the analytic encounter itself. Whether the analyst speaks from or about these contents depends on the capacity of the patient to dream. Classical amplification can be understood as an instance of speaking about inner contents. As the ego of the analyst, the conscious component, relates to unconscious contents emerging from the analytic third, micro-activations of the transcendent function constellate creating an analytic compass. " (abstract - p. 14)

August J. Cwik (2011). Associative Dreaming: Reverie and Active Imagination. Journal of Analytical Psychology , Vol. 56, pp. 14–36

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hans Loewald on Regression

"Considering regression from the standpoint of internal communication within a continuum of irrational and rational modes and contents of mentation, a continuum of structures or systems, has the advantage that here the organization and functioning of the adult mind is in view. We are thus able to appreciate that regression, seen in this light, is not in and by itself pathological, but a phase in the motions and transformations of psychic life.

With patients whom we describe as regressed, the flux and rhythm, the balance of phases, the communications between rational and irrational phases, are disordered in a regressive direction. We are trying to understand, in each case or group of cases, what in the history and current situation of the individual may have determined or contributed to the predominance of regression and regressive states. But we will be ill-equipped to be of help to the patient if we see regression as nothing but the return to an alien, archaic, infantile stage of development which we, the therapists, have long since left behind. I am not saying that there is nothing infantile or archaic here. My point is that infantile-archaic stages find psychic permanence in the structuring of the mind, whether we are regressed patients or healthy, mature adults; and that the relative freedom, balance, and mastery of communications between the structures of the mind are the essential factors that count.
" (pp. 38-39)

Loewald, Hans (1981). Regression: Some General Considerations. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Vol. 50, pp. 22-43

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gustav Bovensiepen on the Analytic Attitude, the Transcendent Function, and Reverie

"I shall investigate Jung’s claim that the transcendent function can only unfold if we succeed in assuming the analytical attitude that he called the ‘symbolic attitude’. This is one of the few of Jung’s concepts from which he explicitly deduced a treatment technique, that of active imagination. Since the prerequisite of active imagination is a differentiated and stable ego, it is not, in my opinion, an appropriate technique for patients who are structurally disturbed at an early developmental level. I believe that the gap between Jung’s fundamental, but very general concept of the analyst’s symbolic attitude and the analysand’s inability to symbolize can be bridged by Bion’s concept of ‘reverie’ within the container-contained relationship. I include the earliest, mostly non-verbal exchanges between mother and infant in what Jung referred to as the ‘symbolic attitude’. I therefore propose that, although Jung assumes it is a ‘natural process’ and hence archetypally grounded, the transcendent function does not work spontaneously, but requires a matrix, which is based on the child’s earliest experience of a relationship and which can later be re-enacted in treatment." (p. 243)

Gustav Bovensiepen (2002). Symbolic attitude and reverie: Problems of symbolization in children and adolescents, Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 47, pp. 241–257.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leo Rangell on the Neurosciences, Psychoanalysis, and Unification of the Field

This entry is a brief tribute to Leo Rangell who died May 28, 2011 in Los Angeles at 97. He was the author of 9 books and 450 articles. During his long psychoanalytic career he served as the President of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytic Association. Well known as a psychoanalytic theoretician, his focus during his last years was on the integration of findings from the neurosciences with psychoanalysis and the need for a unified theory of psychoanalysis (i.e. the composite theory). Both themes are articulated in the selections provided below:

"All parts are necessary for the whole. While neuroscience should not now leave the mind behind, for a retrospective look to be complete, the inclusion of psychoanalysis as a discipline into the social sciences, which was Freud’s wish, should also not be followed by an exclusion or minimizing of its root in medicine. This would be an error in the opposite direction which, in this pendular history, would not be unexpected. While the mind moves out into the wider world of intellect and society, it should not thereby leave the brain or the body behind. In the long neglect of the social sciences, it is what was omitted that was at fault, not what was laboriously built. And again the rational path is to add, not replace. As the brain and neurological science were not sufficient to explainthe mind and its contents, the mind does not exist without the brain. The human being, with the unique combined action of both, represents the highest development on the planet. To aim to sit astride the whole, the mental product and now the brain from which it derives, is an awesome goal. The complete psychoanalyst is a humanistic scientist, a scientific humanist."

"What is included in total composite theory? Every viable contribution made by alternative theories is to be added to the body of preceding theory that remains enduring. Looking at many dichotomies, total theory includes drives and objects; oedipal and preoedipal; constitutional givens and environmental inputs; the past and the present; the transference neurosis and the infantile neurosis; conflict and deficit; the cognitive and affective; the self and the ego; the intrapsychic and the interpersonal; the internal and external worlds, nature and nurture, fantasies and seduction traumata. Historical truth and narrative truths all have their place. The entire human developmental life cycle is included, from infancy, childhood, latency, puberty, adolescence, adulthood, maturity, geriatrics. Each phase leaves its imprint, from the prenatal genetics, the gestation period,the birth process, to all that follows in the outer world. The theory of technique that accompanies composite theory also contains all dichotomies, such as neutrality and empathy, the objective and subjective, reconstruction and the here-and-now, insight and a new relationship, intersubjectivity and an equidistant analytic position, a non-judgmental stance and judging where necessary, passive and active roles of both participants. What are not included in total theory are idiosyncratic constructions that have served to separate split-off advocacy groups that are either not new or not a significant addition."

Leo Rangell (April, 2006).  The Irrational Path of a Rational Theory: The Road to Unity. Paper presented to the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Society.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Warren Colman on Imagination in Analysis

Warren Colman is Editer-in-Chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology

"The ability to imagine, to symbolize and to play is a necessity of all successful analytic work. Jung described this ability as the transcendent function — the emergence of symbolic imagination out of the conflict between conscious and unconscious (Jung 1916). But this ability cannot be taken for granted; it is dependent on the development of an ego that is sufficiently differentiated to be able to engage with the unconscious as an equal partner. Jung certainly specified that this was a condition for the practice of active imagination, but due to his lack of interest in developmental psychology, he did not pursue the question of how such ego capacity might be acquired. This issue was investigated in the pages of the JAP [J. of Analytical Psychology] by Fordham and others in the London group, especially in the 1960s and, more recently, has been taken up by Bovensiepen (2002). Bovensiepen suggests that the process of developing a symbolic space develops out of the matrix of early maternal care, particularly through the mother’s reverie which he equates with symbolic attitude. With more disturbed patients who lack this foundation, he shows how the analysand’s inability to symbolize can be bridged by the analyst’s own reverie within the container-contained relationship (ibid., p. 243). This leads to the promotion of a symbolic attitude in the patient through the internalization of what Bion calls the container/contained apparatus."

"In this paper I want to look at a slightly different clinical issue that, crudely speaking, could be described as the difference between patients who can’t symbolize and those who won’t symbolize. The patients I am referring to have more ego capacity in some areas but use what imaginative capacity they have to defend against aspects of reality concerned with absence and loss that are felt to be intolerable. This blocks their capacity for real imagination and symbolic function since these require an acknowledgement of the gap between what is imagined and what is actually present in the material world. A symbol cannot be a symbol of something unless it represents something other than itself. Therefore the thing that is symbolized must be absent from the symbol. Similarly, imagination can only be recognized as distinct from material actuality by the absence of its contents from the external world."  (pp. 21-22)

Warren Colman (2006). Imagination and the Imaginary. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2006, Vol. 51, pp. 21–41

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wilfred Bion on the Analytic Experience

"Once the patient begins to understand what the analytic experience is, then he changes so fast that what he thought or felt at the beginning of a sentence is out of date by the time he has reached the end of it. That is why, when you are satisfied that the patient is actually developing, it is well to be able to forget what you know and to discard what you want to happen. It is difficult to de-barrass the mind of its load of experience; we are liable to slow the patient down by clinging to out-of-date ideas, and as a result, are unable to watch the patient's progress to some other idea." (p. 29)

Wilfred R. Bion (2005). The Italian Seminars (from 1977). London: Karnac.