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Countertransference in child psychoanalytic psychotherapy: The emergence of the analyst’s childhood.

The author focuses on a particular type of countertransference with children—the emergence of the therapist’s childhood memories and experiences in child psychotherapy. The revival of these childhood recollections in the analyst is not a barrier or sign of pathology as previously held, but rather in some cases a vital resource that may potentially deepen and facilitate analytic work. The therapist’s memory and attendant fantasies, physical/sensory experience, and affect states in the context of the childhood memory may afford the analyst the opportunity to not only make contact with his or her “self” as a child, but also to further symbolize these states of mind and use them in the exploration of the child patient’s mind. Through intersubjective exchanges with the patient, the …

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Noninterpretative measures in the analysis of trauma.

Psychoanalysis has a long and distinguished history in the use of non-interpretative measures, first introduced by Freud in the case of the Rat Man and, then, formalized in the case of the Wolf Man. Freud passed the mantle to Ferenczi when he declared the future development in psychoanalysis would center around Ferenczi’s introduction of the role of activity in psychoanalytic technique. Over the course of his clinical career Ferenczi described a theory of trauma, the Confusion of Tongues paradigm and experimented with Relaxation Therapy which included a wide array of non-interpretative measures in order to successfully treat trauma. Three clinical cases are presented by the authors to illustrate the use of non-interpretative measures in the contemporary analysis of trauma. Trauma creates…

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Entry into imaginary space: Metaphors of transition and variations in the affective quality of potential space in children’s literature.

In this article the authors use the imaginal worlds of three children’s stories to explore variations in the affective quality of potential space. Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Norton Juster’s The Phantom Toolbooth, each contain a metaphor of transition in which the protagonist moves from the real space of the narrative into the imaginary space where the action takes place—the protagonists are altered and alter their own worlds. The authors will use these metaphors as analogues to differing qualities of imaginary space, including the collapse of meaning in schizoid states, the play of meaning in mentalization and the adventurousness of negotiating separation. These metaphors of transitioning into imaginary space may b…

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Paring down life to the essentials: An epicurean psychodynamics of midlife changes.

This article presents a psychodynamic hypothesis about a certain type of productive midlife change often to be observed in creative individuals. This model is called paring down life to the essentials and is connected to the Epicurean tradition. It is exemplified by analyzing the autobiographical narrative of Charles Handy, a leading business philosopher, who at midlife left his previous employment to dedicate himself to writing about the search for meaning in a capitalist world. The psychodynamic interpretation of this process dialectically bridges between Elliot Jacques seminal interpretation of the resolution of the midlife crisis as acceptance of mortality and Ernest Becker’s theory that the denial of death is one of the deepest human motivations—a hypothesis strongly corroborated …

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Identity and resurrective ideology in an age of trauma.

The author extends his conception of emotional trauma as a shattering of the tranquilizing “absolutisms of everyday life” that shield us from our finitude and our existential vulnerability, to a consideration of collective trauma. Using the collective trauma of 9/11 and its aftermath as his prime example, he illustrates how traumatized people fall prey to “resurrective ideologies” that promise to restore the sheltering illusions that have been lost. He suggests that an alternative to these grandiose illusions can be found in our “kinship-in-finitude.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: Psychoanalytic Psychology)

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