Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, by John Steiner

By John Steiner

Primarily scientific in its technique, Psychic Retreats discusses the matter of sufferers who're 'stuck' and with whom it truly is tricky to make significant touch. John Steiner, an skilled psychoanalyst, makes use of new advancements in Kleinian conception to provide an explanation for how this occurs. He examines the best way item relationships and defences may be geared up into complicated buildings which result in a character and an research turning into inflexible and glued, with little chance for improvement or switch. those platforms of defences are pathological corporations of the character: John Steiner describes them as 'psychic retreats', into which the sufferer can withdraw to prevent touch either with the analyst and with fact. to supply a heritage to those unique and arguable thoughts, the writer builds on extra verified principles similar to Klein's contrast among the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions, and in brief reports prior paintings on pathological companies of the character. He illustrates his dialogue with targeted scientific fabric, with examples of how psychic retreats function to supply a respite from either paranoid-schizoid and depressive anxieties. He seems to be on the approach such businesses functionality as a defence opposed to insufferable guilt and describes the mechanism through which fragmentation of the character might be reversed so the misplaced components of the self might be regained and reintegrated in to the character. Psychic Retreats is written with the training psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists in brain. The emphasis is consequently medical during the ebook, which concludes with a bankruptcy at the technical difficulties which come up within the therapy of such significantly sick sufferers.

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Additional info for Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients (New Library of Psychoanalysis ; 19)

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These forces, which interfere with his capacity for love and creativity, threaten him from within and from without, and their reality may be so difficult to accept that omnipotent defences are mobilized to deal with them. It is these omnipotent defences struggling with primitive destructive elements in the personality which create the most serious problems in analysis and which become manifest in pathological organizations of the personality. The most important of these omnipotent defences later came to be studied under the heading of projective identification but was already implicit in the early studies of narcissism and narcissistic object relations.

If I had not telephoned the patient I had the impression that she would not have been able to make the move towards me and we might have had a very long absence or even a breakdown in the analysis. On the other hand, I was also left feeling that telephoning her was a serious error in technique, and I had an uneasy sense of doing something improper as if I had been seduced or was seducing her to make her feel she was coming back to the analysis for my benefit and at my summons. It is interesting to observe that it is sometimes the analyst’s shortcomings which are exploited to justify a return to the retreat.

While at first she could appreciate that she had paranoid fears and make contact with me as someone who could help her with them, we could not prevent them from being enacted in the session, and when this happened she felt obliged to return to the refuge. In the second session the retreat to the refuge followed my failure to answer her telephone call, and the atmosphere at this time was very different. Progress in the analysis had occurred even though it was rarely admitted, and the work on the central heating in cooperation with her husband was reflected by a greater warmth in the sessions.

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