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About this book

If you are searching for a clear exploration of the key concepts in psychodynamic thinking and practice, then this is the book for you.

In this book Jeffrey Longhofer unravels the complex field of psychodynamic practice and lays it out in an accessible A-Z format that enables any practitioner to implement psychodynamic practice into their work with people.

Each entry introduces the reader to the fundamental aspects of psychodynamic practice: the theoretical underpinnings, key thinkers, debates and research. With 'Points for reflection and practice' and 'Key texts' throughout it provides clear guidance for day-to-day practice and further study. Whether you work in social work, psychology, counselling or related fields, this book will equip you with a broad knowledge of psychodynamic practice and its contribution to understanding human development.

Table of Contents

A

Frontmatter

Adolescence

Abstract
While Freud wrote very little in depth about adolescence, he did pay close attention to it phylogenetically, in terms of psycho sexual development, and in his frequent use of the term puberty. Remarkably, in the ‘Cambridge Companion to Freud’ (Neu, 1991), adolescence is mentioned only twice and then only in passing. In the ‘Standard Edition’ (Freud’s collected works), adolescence is mentioned only three times while puberty appears 240 times. For many psychodynamic theorists, adolescence is marked by three key developmental moments and potential outcomes. First, there is a change in the sexual impulse, resulting in the discovery of object love. There is at this moment also a very real danger of what the Laufers (2011) call ‘developmental breakdown’ (see entry, developmental stages): a rejection of the emerging sexual and adult body alongside potential conflicts over gender. Anna Freud, similarly, understood that adolescent struggles simultaneously satisfy and balance inner impulse (i.e. the wishes of the id), against the demands of reality and the ego (see entries, ego and drive).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Affect

Abstract
Early in his thinking on affect, Freud described it as variable quantities of excitation: symptoms develop when affect-laden experiences are repressed. Much later Silvan Tomkins (1995) argued that affects could be sorted into fundamental and discrete categories governed by mechanisms over which the individual had little control. Building on the work of Tomkins, Paul Ekman (1993) and others identified what they believed were basic, universal, essential and innate emotions. These included surprise, happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust. For Jesse Prinz (2004), a contemporary philosopher of emotion, the dichotomy between innate, basic or nonbasic emotions is unsustainable. He writes, ‘First, while there is a difference between basic emotions and nonbasic emotions, it is not a structural difference. All emotions are fundamentally alike. Second, the standard list of basic emotions, thought by many to be universal across cultures, are not basic after all. We don’t have names for the basic emotions. All emotions that we talk about are culturally informed’ (2004, p. 69).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Affect regulation

Abstract
Psychoanalysts, neuroscientists, and attachment theorists have turned attention to affect regulation and the relational world. Attachment theorists (Fonagy et al., 2002; Fonagy, 2007; Fonagy and Target, 2003), in particular, are interested in how mentalization (i.e. effectively using mental representations of the emotional states of self and other) is connected to the developing capacity for affect regulation (i.e. conscious and unconscious ways of maximizing pleasant emotion and minimizing unpleasant emotion appropriate to the social surround) and to disruptions in later life. Neuroscientists argue that the brain structures necessary for affect regulation mature late in development (Schore, 2003), and that these mechanisms and functions are necessary for the formation and maintenance of interactions between the self and the social surround. Self-regulation, then, is not only experience-dependent; it is also rooted in intersub-jective states essential to the brain’s regulatory potential.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Alpha and beta elements (and Functions)

Abstract
Wilfred Bion, a British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, borrowed from the object relations theorist, Melanie Klein, projective identification (PI), to think more generally about mental functioning and cognition. For Bion, projective identification refers to much more than powerful fantasies in the infant’s mental world. It is also an early, necessary, and principal means of communication. It is through projection of primitive mental states, what Bion called ‘beta elements’, from the mind of the infant into the mind of the mother, that these states are processed and made comprehensible and the infant comes to know their own thinking and mental lives. The baby, in early life, lacks a thought-thinking apparatus sufficient to metabolize (i.e. use and integrate) early mental experience. These states he called beta (b) elements: bodily feelings and emotional states alongside early sensory and relational experience. And because the mind is not sufficiently developed to metabolize them, they must first enter the mind of the Other, where they are felt, thought, and reflected. For example, when fear is projected into a receptive parent (the responsive parent, for Bion, performs the containing function), it is made familiar; and through recognition is then available to the infant in comprehensible and usable forms. These transformations of raw sensory data (i.e. what he called beta elements, or unprocessed sense data, unassimilated and unsymbolized by the ego as ‘food for thinking’) into alpha elements is necessary for conscious and unconscious life.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Ambivalence

Abstract
Ambivalence refers to the coexistence of two opposing feelings, drives, tendencies and impulses, towards the same person, goal or object. The term should not be confused with ‘ambiguity’ (i.e. opposed or unclear meanings). Nor should it be confused with mixed feelings (Rycroft, 1968). For Rycroft, mixed feelings may in fact refer to realistic assessments of the object, social situation or external reality. It may also refer to attitudes or ideas (e.g. positive and negative attitudes towards abortion, exercise, capital punishment). Research (not in psychoanalysis, dynamic psychiatry or psychodynamic psychology, where the emphasis is placed on unconscious dimensions of this emotional state) sometimes refers to ambivalence as ‘mixed emotions’ and shows that the ability to tolerate, use or become aware of these states correlates to resilience, creativity and physical well-being (see Rycroft’s early criticism of the confusion between mixed feeling/emotion and ambivalence).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Anxiety

Abstract
Anxiety is foremost an unpleasurable affective state marked by physical sensations signifying the possibility of imminent threat; it is an unconscious, inner state to be avoided. And while this unpleasantness may be difficult to discern and describe, anxiety itself is always sensed. It is not to be confused with fear, which is a state that is accompanied by real, recognized external danger. Some make a distinction between ‘free-floating’ anxiety, where anxiety is generally experienced and more specific or acute anxiety (e.g. panic).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Archetype

Abstract
For Carl Jung, it is through the integration of what he called the personal ‘unconscious’ with the collective unconscious that one achieves individuation or wholeness. For Jung there are two layers of the unconscious: a personal unconscious, just beneath the conscious mind, incorporating personal psychic content and a deeper level, the collective unconscious (i.e. the accumulated experience of humanity, repeated experience throughout human history). At this deepest level of the psyche are the archetypes (i.e. innate, universal and hereditary, and unlearned modes of thinking and acting in particular ways). These archaic patterns and images, rooted in the collective unconscious, are the psychic equivalents of instincts. The archetypes produce, maintain, and control behaviour and experience. They can also be described as image patterns with quantities of energy charge, innate neuropsychic centres, seeking expression and integration, which are revealed in dreams, myths, mystical practice and belief. And because they are universal, they produce similarity in thought, feeling, images, ideas, across all cultural settings, circumstance, and history. Archetypes function to regulate the human life cycle; over time, we progress through a natural sequence of steps, each driven by archetypes, producing personality and behavioural outcomes.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Attachment

Abstract
Attachment has several referents. First, it may refer to a diverse body of theory, research, infant observation (Jurist et al, 2008), and experiment (i.e. attachment theory). The theory, however, is an amalgam of ideas from ethology, psychoanalysis, neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Second, it is sometimes used to describe discrete behaviours (i.e. gesture and body movement, crying and tears, smiles) aimed at understanding how we form and maintain relationships through proximity. These are sometimes called ‘attachment behaviours’ or ‘attachment-seeking behaviours’. Still others use the term to refer to ‘systems of attachment’, sometimes called ‘working models’ (Bretherton, 1999), which produce internalized feelings of security and efficacy. Finally, it may refer to disorders of attachment (i.e. reactive attachment). A sense of security is the aim of attachment and foremost a regulator of emotional experience (Sroufe, 1996).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Attacks on linking

Abstract
In his work on psychosis, Bion described what he called ‘attacks on linking’ as the psychotic part of the mind directing destructive (i.e. ego-destructive superego) attacks on the links among objects (i.e. emotion, reason). It is when normal projective identification breaks down, due to ruptures in mother-infant communication (i.e. the mother/caregiver is unreceptive), that thought itself is compromised. It was in his work with people suffering with schizophrenia that Bion described the psychotic and nonpsychotic parts of the self, common to all people; when these parts are separated, one dominating the other, the gap becomes unbridgeable (Bion, 1967) and the psychotic part of the personality attacks everything enabling awareness of reality; destructive attacks by the psychotic part of the mind are directed at all links among objects. The result is a breakdown in the mental activity necessary for linking: the psychotic part of the self directs attacks against functions necessary for perceiving reality. Bion writes in ‘Attacks on Linking’ (1959), the ‘patient’s disposition to attack the link between two objects is simplified because the analyst has to establish a link with the patient… therefore we should be able to see attacks being made upon it’ (p. 308).
Jeffrey Longhofer

B

Frontmatter

Bad object

Abstract
The concept, bad object, derives mainly from Melanie Klein’s ideas about early development and the experience of unpleasant body sensations (e.g. pain, discomfort, hunger) which are interpreted as coming from an external, hostile environment; persecutory anxieties, first registered in bodily states and from frustration of needs by those in the external world; together these may overwhelm and cause the infant to resort to what Klein and others call primitive defences (see entry, defence mechanisms): denial, projection, intro-jection, withdrawal and splitting. In an effort to understand and evaluate the psychological, social and physical surround, the child divides experience into categories of ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Body ego

Abstract
Sigmund Freud wrote in the ‘Ego and the Id’ that, ‘The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface’ (1923, p. 16; emphases added). For Freud the skin can be both the source and aim of the drive. Much has been written about this provocative understanding of mental life. Some have used this idea to suggest that the infant’s early experience of the body surface (i.e. sensory-affective stimulation) with the maternal figure sets into motion a major shift in psychic life: from the sensory to the mental. For Esther Bick, a positive experience with skin feeling produces a confident sense of a ‘containing object’ which in turn leads to differentiation of inner and outer: what is inside, what is outside, what is not me.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Borderline

Abstract
The term ‘borderline’ has been used to describe mental states on the border between neurosis and psychosis: an individual with ‘psychotic’ symptoms but not psychotic nor becoming psychotic. While the term first appeared in the psychoanalytic literature in the 1930s (Stern, 1938), beginning with Knight (1953), it was more widely used. It most often refers to rapid changes in self-image, lability of mood and behaviour and a life dominated by intense and manipulative relationships. The common defences include splitting, primitive dissociation, projective identification, omnipotence, denial, disruptive acting out, destructive idealization, devaluation and dramatic and sudden shifts in affect.
Jeffrey Longhofer

C

Frontmatter

Collective unconscious

Abstract
Freud and Jung had very different views on the nature and function of the unconscious mind. For Jung, there was both a ‘personal’ and a ‘collective’ unconscious. Jung’s personal unconscious, like Freud’s unconscious, is the site of repressed material, often infantile, and contains traces of a person’s past. For Jung, unlike Freud, symptoms are teleological; that is, they serve a purpose, with an unfolding aim: early life experiences create templates for the ways patients solve crises later in life. For Jung, the unconscious is significant not due to individual biography and personal experience, but because we all share a collective history and common experience.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Conflict and compromise formation

Abstract
One way of viewing conflict is to imagine potential struggles among and between agencies (i.e. id, ego, and superego) of the human mind, a mind that is in constant conflict with itself. Psychoanalytic theory holds that conflict is the primary cause of anxiety and unhappiness. For example, ‘the id may be in conflict with the ego’: one may have to make a choice between an immediate and gratifying object/reward or defer and wait for more appropriate or significant ones. The ‘id may also be in conflict with the superego’; for example, while hunger and sexual impulses seek gratification (i.e. the id seeks expression, regardless of circumstance), the superego may push back by imposing limits and consequences. Here we are propelled by the force of desire and pulled by the force of conscience. Or there may be ‘conflict between the ego and the superego’. Here, everyday, we make choices between acting in realistic ways or by complying with rigidly imposed and unrealistic standards (e.g. always telling the truth). Or the ‘id and ego may be in conflict with the superego’. The demands of the id and the demands of the superego often conflict because the ego does its work through unconscious defence mechanisms. Here, for example, we may choose to altogether avoid conflict rather than retaliate against a more vulnerable person.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Conscious (Unconscious, Preconscious)

Abstract
Freud described the difference between the conscious and the unconscious in his 1915 metapsychological essay, ‘The Unconscious’:
It strikes us all at once that now we know what is the difference between a conscious and an unconscious idea. The conscious idea comprises the concrete idea plus the verbal idea corresponding to it, whilst the unconscious idea is that of the thing alone. … The idea which is not put into words or the mental act which has not received hyper-cathexis then remains in the unconscious in a state of repression, (pp. 201–202)
The term ‘conscious’ has many referents: awareness, phenomenal awareness, reflective awareness and phenomenal representation. Awareness can refer to a conscious awareness and a latent awareness. It can also refer to what is immediately given in experience (subjectively).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Container/Contained

Abstract
Bion developed the concept ‘containing’ to describe how through projective identification (see entry, projective identification) one person contains psychic bits of another (Cartwright, 2013, 2014). Often the concept is used incorrectly to refer to the ‘holding environment’ (see entry, good enough mother (holding environment)). And it is through the dynamic interplay between the container (i.e. parent, caregiver) that the infant’s ego is built up and in therapy a patient projects unwanted, anxiety-ridden, and split off bits of self (i.e. the intolerable parts of affects, self, sensory experience, memory and objects) into the mother/analyst/container to be digested and metabolized. It is then available in a new form before it can be reintrojected (Brown, 2013). Bion (1970) offered three categories of the container-contained relationship: (1) commensal (where two objects share a third to the mutual benefit of all three and where the relationship is inoffensive and promotes coexistence); (2) symbiotic (where one depends on another to mutual benefit and where there is confrontation and growth); (3) parasitic (where one depends on another to produce a third, which is destructive to all three and where envy becomes a function of the relationship) (p. 78). It is with the third category, where reciprocity is lacking between the container and the contained, that difficulties arise.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Countertransference

Abstract
‘Countertransference’, a term first used by Freud in 1910 (pp. 144–145), has a rich, varied and controversial history. Much of the early thinking on the subject was influenced by Freud’s view that unconscious reactions by the therapist (these may also include feelings projected by the patient onto the therapist) are to be guarded against, contained or controlled and ultimately overcome. If countertransference is seen as a deficit in the therapist, attention is given to the defensive manoeuvres of the therapist and the need to vigilantly maintain a projective mirror or surface upon which to project. According to this understanding, the therapist is a blank screen onto which fantasies are projected; distortions of the screen are produced by the qualities and conflicts unique to the therapist. Over time this view has changed radically, so much so that today we see countertransference as potentially productive: that is, it may both constrain and enable the work of therapy. In her seminal 1950 essay, ‘On Countertransference’, Paula Heimann, a student of Melanie Klein’s, argued that countertransference could be used as a means of both perceiving and exploring communication. With Klein’s idea of projective identification (see entry, projective identification) subsequent thinking about countertransference has been thoroughly transformed.
Jeffrey Longhofer

D

Frontmatter

Defence mechanisms

Abstract
Although Sigmund Freud described defence mechanisms, it was his daughter Anna who offered a more comprehensive account (‘The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence’) of their number, kinds and functioning. Foremost, defence mechanisms serve the purpose of reducing anxiety produced from psychic conflict (see entry, conflict and compromise formation), including external threats to the self. For healthy functioning, impulses cannot without limit seek satisfaction; they must conform to the surrounding world and to the demands of the superego. For example, if the id expresses the desire or impulse for sex with a sibling, there may be conflict with a superego demand (i.e. social conventions against), and anxiety will be produced along with feelings of shame and guilt. If the anxiety is unbearable, the ego will deploy protective defences. Many describe the operation of defence mechanisms as unconscious blocking, transformations or distortions of unacceptable impulses and their transformation into acceptable forms. Others use these ideas to talk about the myriad ways that painful thoughts and feelings are kept out of awareness. Some argue that the defences are associated with specific developmental stages: denial, projection, introjection and splitting with the oral phase and undoing, reaction formation and isolation with the anal phase.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Depression

Abstract
In psychodynamic theory, depression is understood as a complex dynamic between the intrapersonal and interpersonal ‘experience of Loss’. Even the symptom-based nosology, the DSM, acknowledges the potential connection between loss and depression when depressive symptoms ‘are not better accounted for by bereavement’. While first experienced interpersonally, loss is finally felt and repeated intrapersonally. Freud writes that ‘An object-choice, an attachment of the libido to a particular person, had at one time existed; then, owing to a real slight or disappointment coming from this loved person, the object-relation ship was shattered’ (1917, pp. 248–249; emphases added). While Freud argued that many things may contribute to the two possibilities, mourning or melancholia, the loss of a loved object is common to both. And much of psychodynamic ‘theory’ sees depression as self-directed anger.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Depressive position

Abstract
The Kleinians talk about positions as often as they refer to stages. This accomplishes a number of important things. First, it shifts our thinking about early development away from teleology (i.e. inexorable stages unfolding towards a predetermined end) towards recursive and unpredictable open systems. Second, while Klein sees a linear movement from the paranoid-schizoid (see entry, paranoid-schizoid) to the depressive position, she and her successors acknowledge that this is also an uncertain and recursive movement freighted with anxiety and painful guilt.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Developmental stages

Abstract
Freud’s psychosexual developmental theory was and remains among the most controversial of his ideas. Like all stage theories, it assumed a logical and necessary progression (i.e. teleology) from simple to complex, from undeveloped to developed and from a potentially regressed (or fixated) state to forward progression. It is especially important to understand the paradigm shift brought about by Freud’s linking of the ‘psycho’ with the ‘sexual’. For Freud the human experience is always and necessarily psychosexual. Otherwise, we are left with shallow and one-dimensional reductions of the psychological to empirical sexual behaviours (e.g. Kinsey, 1948, 1953).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Diagnosis and the DSM

Abstract
Psychodynamic/psychoanalytic diagnosis has been controversial from its beginnings. And there is a paradox inherent to the process: it is difficult, if not impossible, to diagnose without having considered the case over time and in detail. At the same time, the choice of treatment approach depends on having made a prior commitment to a diagnosis. And the relevance of a diagnosis can only be established after treatment is well underway. Moreover, unlike in clinical medicine, direct empirical observation is impossible. There is simply no realistic way to establish the presence or absence of pathology or illness with a fixed system of meanings and nosology. In clinical medicine, unlike psychodiagnostics, the physician has at his or her disposal a complement to the patient’s recollections: direct examination with sophisticated, sensory enhancing technologies (Verhaeghe, 2004).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Dissociation

Abstract
The relationship between trauma and dissociation has been widely studied and debated recently. As a defence, it is usually thought of as a temporary but significant disconnection aimed at avoiding or postponing a feeling or thought. With dissociation, the disconnection allows one to live outside time and space, to better manage unbearable thoughts, feelings or memories. And with an alternative or dissociated representation of self it is possible to exist in a profound and focused present (e.g. losing track of time): time and self-representation unfold discontinuously.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Dream

Abstract
Two towering figures dominate much of our current understanding of dreams, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. For Freud, the dream serves two principal functions: psychological and physiological. Physiologically they serve to protect sleep by controlling disturbing stimuli. Psychologically, they function as wish fulfilment. Because repression, the mechanism through which we restrain unbearable, threatening fears, wishes, thoughts, is never fully effective, it returns (i.e. return of the repressed) to us through jokes, slips, symptoms and dreams. There are several key ideas in Freud’s theory of dreams: latent content’, ‘manifest content’, ‘dream-work’, ‘repressed wishes’, ‘condensation’, ‘displacement’, ‘dramatization’ and ‘elaboration’. Through dream-work, by disguising repressed desires and wishes, the raw material of the dream (e.g. wishes and fears, thoughts, day residue) is transformed into manifest content.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Drive

Abstract
For Freud, the energy necessary for psychic life is produced by both libido and aggression and expressed, released or made available for use through the body: the drives. Psychic energy, moreover, is continuously generated but present in uneven amounts. Most importantly, while the source of the drive is biological, the drive itself is always a psychic representation; drives, thus, can be known only through their effects, just as gravitational fields are known only through their effects. Freud, in using the German word, ‘Anlehnung’ (to lean on) avoids the problem of reductionism: the drive is formed when the psyche leans on the soma (i.e. the drives are rooted in the body but not reducible to the body and thus should not be equated with the more limited notion of fixed instinct).
Jeffrey Longhofer

E

Frontmatter

Ego

Abstract
With the introduction of the structural theory (1923), Freud postulated a tripartite division of the mind: the id, the ego and the superego. Freud never uses these terms and preferred the German, ‘Das Ich’, ‘Das Es’ and ‘Das Über-Ich’, to the Latinized versions (Bettelheim 1983). Obviously, these were not meant to refer to real things, nor do they have neurological correlates; this was a ‘model’ of the mind, not to be confused with the actual brain or with a specific mind. Moreover, these were not discrete and separate but overlapping agencies or functions of the mind. With this fundamental shift in thinking, Freud assigned to the ego the role of mediator between the id and reality, acting as a kind of regulator of the id’s urge towards expression of desire. The ego, governed by the reality principle, functions as a conductor, directing the id towards more appropriate expressions. And to achieve the repression of inappropriate desire and urge, the ego deploys ‘mechanisms of defence’ (see entry, defence mechanisms). The ego, in short, converts, diverts and transforms the id’s urgings into more pragmatic and realistic satisfactions. It moves to control and regulate the id’s influence, to achieve satisfaction despite the limitations imposed by reality. While the id forms an image of the desire or pushes towards its expression, the ego strategizes to realize desire and through time, borrowing psychic energy from the id, builds capacity and function: memory, perception, self-awareness.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Emerging adulthood

Abstract
In 1995, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett introduced the idea of emerging adulthood to capture what he and growing numbers of psychologists and sociologists describe as a new stage in human development: emerging adulthood. Today, his research has evolved into a trans disciplinary professional society, journals and hundreds of research projects and monographs. What was once described in the developmental literature as late adolescence or early adulthood has now been reimagined as emerging adulthood. Across social, class, race and educational background, Arnett finds a pattern: a shared sense of feeling in-between, a liminal space. This new phenomenon, Arnett and others describe as a product of recent changes in economic life. On the one hand, these young people feel and experience a growing distance from adolescent struggles, conflicts and dependencies. While Arnett (2007) has aligned himself with a mostly anti-psychoanalytic understanding of youth development, it’s almost impossible to imagine the relevance of his work without the concept of psychic conflicts. Indeed, his entire oeuvre is premised on notions of psychic conflict, though unstated. On the other, they share a perception of feeling intractable dependence on family ties.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Empathy

Abstract
The role of empathy in the development of self has not figured prominently in classical psychoanalytic theory; however, for interpersonal psychoanalysts, object relations theorists, and self psychologists, empathy has emerged as a central idea, especially in understanding the emotional link between a child and caregiver, and the efficacy of the therapist-client relationship. For Heinz Kohut, empathy refers to the ‘capacity to think and feel oneself into the inner life of another person’ (1974, p. 82) and is central to the method of psychoanalysis (i.e. empathy is the instrument used by psychoanalysts to collect and use data). For Kohut, while empathy accomplishes a kind of affective merger, identification or attunement, it is not clear how his understanding accounts for why one may also ‘laugh or cry with someone and yet have little understanding about why the other is laughing or crying’ (Hollan, 2008, p. 476). Ralph Green son, in the 1960s, considered the role of empathy in countertransference. After Green son an increasing emphasis was given to the role of empathy in therapeutic communication. Others (Buie, 1981) have looked at the specific psychological mechanisms at work in this dynamic form of intuitive communication, specifically empathy. ‘From the metapsychological perspective, the debate continues between those who assign empathy a decisive role in the discovery of the unconscious and the therapeutic activity of the psychoanalyst (Heinz Kohut) and those who deny that empathy can play a role in identifying the unconscious’ (Buie, 1981, p. 287).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Envy, greed, jealousy, gratitude

Abstract
For Melanie Klein, envy, greed, jealousy and gratitude form a cluster of mental states and developmental possibilities. Envy is foremost experienced as an angry feeling or sadistic (oral and anal) expression of destructive impulse directed at the mother’s breasts (i.e. the crucial source of nourishment over which the infant exercises no power). Klein referred to the impulse as ‘primary destructiveness’ (i.e. innately present but elaborated by the environment and adverse experience). Envy, however, is not just a destructive feeling aimed at someone possessing or enjoying something desirable; its power is realized in the impulse to spoil it or take it. Hanna Segal writes that often underlying envy is a ‘wish to exhaust the object entirely, not only in order to possess all its goodness but also to deplete the object purposefully so that it no longer contains anything enviable’ (1974, p. 41 emphasis added). Marcus West (2010) argues that the experience of envy is indexed to personality. He writes ‘that envy is a secondary phenomenon related to the psyche’s early functioning which has an implicit aversion to separation and difference and a preference for sameness. This is not an explicit behavioural principle, such as Freud’s understanding of the pleasure principle; instead it represents the psyche’s means of recognizing, classifying, making sense of, and thereby processing the infant’s experience’ (p. 460).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Evidence-based practice

Abstract
The term ‘evidence-based practice’ (EBP), sometimes called empirically supported treatment (EST), refers to interventions, in health and mental health care, backed by research which shows statistically significant effectiveness of treatment. The movement began in the 1990s, mostly in physical medicine, and then spread rapidly throughout the helping professions. The criteria used to establish research norms, however, tend to altogether elide theoretical, qualitative and case study research; quantitative methods (e.g. random control trials, systematic reviews) are used to narrowly define what counts as evidence. In her recent criticism of RCT, British philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright argues that the RCT is not the ‘gold standard’ it is often assumed to be. She argues that the RCT does not provide evidence or results exportable to other policy or practice environments and ‘that something works “somewhere” is no warranty for it to work “for us” or even that it works “generally”’ (Cartwright, 2007).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Extimacy

Abstract
This neologism, coined first by Jacque Lacan, has been used especially by critical psychologists (Pavon-Cuellar, 2014) to challenge conventional distinctions between exteriority and interiority, surface and depth, outside and inside. The concept refers to the equal ontological status of inside and outside. The unconscious, for example, is not an expression of interiority. It is fundamentally inter subjective. Pavón-Cuéllar (2014) writes that ‘expressions of the duality exteriority-intimacy would be hypothetically replaceable by the notion of “extimacy,” which precisely joins exteriority with intimacy, and states explicitly the interpenetration and mutual transformation of both spheres. These spheres are no longer what they were in conventional psychology. They actually fade away. Exteriority is rather intimacy, but intimacy, as exteriority, is rather an “extimacy” that is no longer either intimacy or exteriority’ (pp. 661–664).
Jeffrey Longhofer

F

Frontmatter

Fantasy (vs Phantasy)

Abstract
Some make a distinction between phantasy and fantasy and, while not without controversy (Laplanche and Pontalis, 2012), the former generally refers in Kleinian language to unconscious, prelinguistic, early stages of development, where reality is not yet differentiated from imagination. According to the Kleinians, it is through phantasy that the infant comprehends the world: imagines it, relates feelings to objects, makes distinctions between inside and outside, comes to have thoughts about the world and relates to it (i.e. through projection and introjection). ‘Infantile feelings and phantasies leave, as it were, their imprints on the mind, imprints that do not fade away but get stored up, remain active, and exert a continuous and powerful influence on the emotional and intellectual life of the individual’ (Klein, 1975, p. 290). For Kleinians, phantasies are essential to our understanding not only of development but also more generally of thought, behaviour and the internal object world. Phantasy may also function in the formation and maintenance of object relations: good and bad objects are produced through projection and introjection. Phantasy enables the construction of identity and, through projection, social relations with others. Phantasies, thus, modify experience and the surrounding world by infusing it with meaning and significance.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Free association

Abstract
Free association, the method introduced by Freud to replace hypnosis, is aimed at producing uncensored thoughts and feelings, thereby allowing greater access to unconscious motivation. The technique asks the patient to altogether abandon socially acceptable or prescribed conventions of communication by freely associating or saying whatever comes to mind. The method assumes that memories are ordered in associative networks and that over time the crucial ones will surface. The therapist, by assigning no special attention or importance to particular elements in the unfolding narrative, must remain in a state of equally open receptivity, or ‘evenly suspended attention’ in order grasp the flow of associations. For Freud, in the free-flowing expression of thought and feeling one finds evidence of conflicts/tension between unconscious impulse and a censorial repressive system aimed at the concealment of meaning and the preservation of safety. This is not unlike his understanding of how the dream is constructed: unconscious impulse (i.e. fantasy and wish) seek discharge but face resistance and censorship. It is only through various forms of substitution that the discharge is accomplished. With free association, such as dreaming, substitution is more easily accomplished than in normal waking life.
Jeffrey Longhofer

G

Frontmatter

Gender

Abstract
The understanding of gender in psychoanalysis shares with most of modern social and psychological theory a long, complex and troubled history. It should be noted at the outset that Freud never used the terms ‘gender’ or ‘gender identity’. Today, for many, it is taken for granted that gender and sex refer to fundamentally different realities. Over time psychodynamic ideas have been challenged and revised by feminist, queer and race theorists. Foremost among the critics has been a loosely associated group of scholars and practitioners using social constructivism (sometimes also called anti-essentialism) to explain gender, gender identity, sexuality and early development. For some among the more radical of these critics, gender is both rooted in and reducible to the social and symbolic world and altogether lack connection to the body or materiality (Coole and Frost, 2010; Elder-Vass, 2013, p. 121); gender expressions, accordingly, change moment-to-moment in relation to certain performative possibilities (Butler, 1993). In sum, we perform our genders, pick and choose them, and through performance, lines of development result in enormous complexity and diversity. What gets left out of these varied social constructionist accounts, however, are the ways that once an aspect of being human in the world has been socially constructed (and no doubt gender, like race, is among those realities), it comes to be felt, experienced and expressed as immutable and embodied (i.e. gendered bodies).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Good enough mother (Holding environment)

Abstract
D. W. Winnicott (1896-1971), an English paediatrician and psychoanalyst, offered especially useful and innovative ways of thinking about the social and psychological dynamic between mothers (caregivers) and infants. He shared with Melanie Klein, one of his major influences, an understanding of how children come to feel and know the mother as separate and independent, with both good and bad qualities. The ‘good enough’ caregiver produces a facilitating environment (i.e. holding), adapts to the infant’s needs and demands and feels the child’s need to transition towards autonomy on his or her own terms. It is only gradually based upon the child’s increasing capacity to tolerate maternal failure that the good enough parent reduces the nearly total adaptation to the infant’s needs. These moments of failure, in turn, enable adaptation to the external environment and contribute to the developing internal world and healthy sense of autonomy. These well-timed and steady moves towards autonomy, both maternal and infant, moreover, enable the infant to gradually predict subtle environmental changes and develop a sense of control. Autonomy, because it is never fully achieved, means that throughout life we seek moments of comfort, dependence and belonging.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Guilt

Abstract
Guilt, shame, embarrassment and pride are often described as’ self-conscious’ emotions rooted in self-reflection and self-evaluation (Tangney, 2007). Some argue that shame and guilt are different expressions of the same affect and that guilt is a species of moral shame (Tomkins 1963; Izard 1977). Guilt has two sides. Its destructive aspect exacts self-evaluation and punishment for misdoings and may produce symptoms (e.g. depression). While guilt results from the recognition of negative attributes or behaviours, it has another side, sometimes called ‘prosocial’, which may motivate positive, normative action (i.e. norm-governed, compliant behaviour). While a sense of guilt is without doubt necessary for orderly social life, guilty feelings cannot all be explained by reference to their social function. Research shows that guilt often involves not only pro social behaviour but also reparative action: empathy, altruism and caregiving (Batson, 1987; Baumeister et al., 1994; Tangney and Dearing, 2002). Others, especially Tangney and Dearing, argue that this grouping of self-conscious emotions provide essential feedback on the status of one’s social and moral acceptance.
Jeffrey Longhofer

I

Frontmatter

Identification

Abstract
Identification, for Freud, describes a process by which one seeks to assimilate an aspect or attribute into the self such that one appears more like others, and it through a series of such identifications that subjectivity is constituted. There are two ways in which the term is often used: where the subject identifies the self with the other and where the subject identifies the other with the self. The term, however, does not refer to object choice: for example, if a child identifies with a parent, it wants to be like the parent. If the child makes the parent the object choice, it is to have or possess the parent, not to identify with him or her. The term should not be confused with incorporation and introjection: both these refer to drawing the object towards the self, and it is also different from imitation, which is voluntary and conscious. Ultimately, for Freud, the concept of identification has a central place in his understanding of how the human subject is constituted.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Illusion

Abstract
Most often we tend to use the term ‘illusion’ to refer to deception or ideas or beliefs we hold in order to protect ourselves from threatening or unacceptable realities. Winnicott used the term in a very different way. For him, illusion was a necessary condition for the infant to reach or connect with reality. The infant, when hungry, fantasizes the mother’s breast coincident with the appearance of the actual satisfying breast. It is at the moment of illusion that the infant imagines that it has conjured up the mother’s breast. For Winnicott it is the infant’s desire for the mother’s breast that creates it (Phillips 2007, p. 83; Ogden, 2001), and it is in this way that for Winnicott (1958), ‘fantasy is more primary than reality, and the enrichment of fantasy with the world’s riches depends on the experience of illusion’ (p. 153), and is the principal source of the illusion. Most importantly, it is through her reliable and predictable presence that the infant makes contact with reality (Caldwell and Joyce, 2011) and the illusion gradually is replaced by a more realistic picture of the caregiver, her smells, affects and so on. Unlike Freud, Winnicott argues that the infant’s earliest experience of the external world is not through primary narcissism but through what he calls ‘primary creativity’.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Imaginary

Abstract
For Jacques Lacan the psyche is divided among three orders, domains or registers: the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic. The Imaginary, though rooted in the prelinguistic/presymbolic, refers not to our imagination in the conventional understanding of the term but to the object world, the images of objects, the outlines and separations among objects (missing in the Real). In the imaginary (the mirror phase), the child sees an image of the self, recognizes the self and makes demands. The infant in this stage is without speech, without bodily coordination or motor control. With the recognition of separateness from the mother and the world, and the resulting sense of a lost world (i.e. the real), the child feels anxiety. In this register demand replaces need; demand, unlike need (which in the Real is satisfied), however, is aimed at making the Other part of the self (as experienced in the now lost state of nature). And because demand (i.e. while needs can be realized, demands are necessarily and always unsatisfiable) cannot be realized it is a continual reminder of loss and lack. In the mirror stage, the child mis recognizes or mistakes the image for a complete, whole, stable, coherent self, which cannot correspond to the actual child. The image, impossible to realize, is a fantasy functioning to compensate for the sense of lack or loss. Lacan calls this the ‘Ideal-I’ or ‘ideal ego’.
Jeffrey Longhofer

J

Frontmatter

Jouissance

Abstract
Lacan used this term to describe the paradoxical qualities of sexual pleasure or enjoyment, that is, how pleasurable qualities turn into painful experience. This ‘too muchness’ of jouissance is an uncontrollable satisfaction, an excess and intolerable degree of excitement or pleasure, beyond the pleasure principle (i.e. the pleasure principle places limits on pleasure). It is simultaneously tempting and disruptive, impossible and alluring. Lacan writes: ‘It starts with a tickle and ends up bursting into flames’ (1991, p. 83). Bruce Fink (2011) describes jouissance ‘as the kind of enjoyment or satisfaction people derive from their symptoms … It is not a “simple pleasure,” so to speak, but involves a kind of pain-pleasure or “pleasure in pain” … or satisfaction in dissatisfaction. It qualifies the kind of “kick” someone may get out of punishment, self-punishment, doing something that is so pleasurable that it hurts (sexual climax, for example), or doing something that is so painful that it becomes pleasurable’ (p. 69).
Jeffrey Longhofer

L

Frontmatter

Listening

Abstract
Many have argued that psychoanalytic method, irrespective of theoretical commitments (i.e. ego, drive, self, object, relational, Lacanian), is defined by a special kind of listening or attention through listening. And a few have considered the influence of phenomenology on the psychoanalytic discussion of listening and on the connection between Freud and phenomenology, including Freud’s own philosophical debt to his teacher, Brentano (Tauber, 2010; Wertz, 1993): the importance of direct observation over theory and construction; bracketing theory and preconception (i.e. the natural attitude); self-reflection and empathy. Donna Orange (2010) speaks quite directly to the phenomenological approach to listening:
Likewise, a listening hermeneut may try energetically to convince the interlocutor (Gadamer, 2003). But implicit and explicit forms of participation in the patient’s suffering create a world of compassion that brings new experiential possibilities. This hermeneutic participation, however, is a way of beingwith, not a formula or technique (Orange et al., 1997) for doing clinical work. Where there was indifference, humiliation, rejection, shattering loss, and the like, compassionate therapeutic understanding does not simply replace or heal by intentionally providing new experience.
Jeffrey Longhofer

M

Frontmatter

Mentalization

Abstract
Just as human beings use their minds to interpret their own behaviours, desires, feelings and thoughts, they must also use their minds to interpret the mental worlds of others. Mentalization is a concept used to describe the mutual recognition of complex mental states, of self and other, along with the capacity to see mental states as independent from action and behaviour. When we mentalize we are sometimes aware of what’s happening in our minds and in the minds of others. This has been called ‘explicit or conscious mentalization’. We know it is explicit when we puzzle over the reasons, intentions or causes of thoughts, feelings and actions, of our own and others. This explicit aspect of mentalization enables our sense-making and our capacity for the expression of feeling in language, in our own words. In this explicit mode of mentalizing we keep mental states in mind; we are using our attention to be mindful of what others are thinking and feeling as we simultaneously observe our own states. We ask ourselves, for example, ‘why did I feel that way after she said that, or did I cause her to feel shame when I observed her slumping?’ Here, you notice, through your own personal stories and narratives, how communication unfolds and how it is affected by thought and feeling.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Mindfulness

Abstract
The concept of mindfulness has taken Western psychology by storm and has crossed over into neuroscience, management, education and politics. While mindfulness originates in Buddhist meditation practice (Kabat-Zinn, 2003), it has evolved into much more than meditation. It is described as a state of consciousness or a concentration of attention (or focused awareness) in a particular way, with purpose and intention, and without making judgements. It requires a conscious awareness of experience as it unfolds, moment-to-moment (Brown and Ryan, 2003). For Daniel Siegel, one of the key proponents of mindfulness therapy and research, mindfulness is best described as the integration of, and development of, what he calls ‘executive forms of attention’. These forms of attention, he argues, lead to a developing capacity for self-regulation, what he calls the balancing of emotion: more effective and healthy responses to stress and improved social skills.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Mirror stage (and Mirroring)

Abstract
The mirror stage is among Lacan’s most important concepts. Human infants (6-18 months), Lacan proposed, see and experience their image reflected in a mirror or represented through the mother or caregiver. While Lacan initially proposed specifically timed developmental stages or moments, he later argued that the mirror is essential to the production of human subjectivity and becomes the organizing experience in the Imaginary register. From the very beginning the imagistic nucleus of the ego is suffused with caregiver narratives (i.e. ‘discourse of the Other’) and encouragements to recognize themselves in the mirror (e.g. ‘such a cute little nose, such cute blue eyes’). The ego is in this way not an organized, integrated or unitary accomplishment, nor the source of autonomous agency, an imagined place of the autonomous T; it is instead a site for projected desire and fantasy of Others. Here, according to Lacan, the ego is an object, not a subject, even though the senses suggest otherwise; it is not the site for autonomous agency, a free, true ‘I’, in control of its own destiny.
Jeffrey Longhofer

N

Frontmatter

Narcissism

Abstract
Narcissus, the handsome son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope, in Ovid’s tale, rejects the love of Echo, who after withdrawing into a lonely place leaves behind only a trace or echo of her voice. The goddess Nemesis, however, hears her pleas for vengeance and Narcissus is forced to fall in love with his own reflection, a fate he cannot endure. He is condemned to sit by a pool of water, watching his reflection until he dies and is transformed into the narcissus flower. The term ‘narcissism’, thus, refers to self-love. For Freud the ego has an original cathexis, a primary narcissism; as the infant gradually redirects a portion of libido to the object world, according to Freud there is a developing tension between ego-libido and object-libido. Moreover, Freud described (1914) primary and secondary stages and forms of narcissism. The infant’s own ego, in primary narcissism, becomes the first object of libidinal love; Freud saw this primary, basic, sexually charged desire directed at the self as normal. Primary narcissism is objectless and precedes the recognition by the infant of a separate object (Freud, 1914). Primary narcissism describes the condition of all infants: an exclusive focus on their own bodies and needs.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Neurosis

Abstract
For Freud, unlike psychosis, ‘in neurosis the ego suppresses part of the id out of allegiance to reality, whereas in psychosis it lets itself be carried away by the id and detached from a part of reality’ (1997, p. 207, emphasis added). Neuroses result from inadequately repressed internal impulses seeking expression, or from external traumatic events (e.g. sexual overwhelming or abuse, trauma); while most people live with neurotic conflicts, some have serious and debilitating symptoms that affect working, loving and leisure. Freud argued that the ego often seeks advantage through illness: the symptom, thus, enables the ego to avoid conflict between the ego and the id. The symptom, a substitute for the unacceptable impulse, reduces, displaces or distorts.
Jeffrey Longhofer

O

Frontmatter

Object

Abstract
The concept, object, has several and sometimes confusing referents. In philosophy, it is generally contrasted with the conscious ‘subject’ or observing agent; the object, then, is the passive thing to be observed; in short, the ‘object relates to a subject’. In psychoanalysis, the subject-object relationship is made problematic: objects are invested (i.e. cathected) with energy. Objects, thus, are all organized around desire and may be people or even abstract ideas. Apart from the external object (the real person, the body or part of body), the ‘object’ must always be understood as a ‘theoretical construct’ or term, not an ‘observational’ one; thus, it refers to the empirical thing, or events, or a person or a bodily zone, only through its effects. Psychoanalysts will often refer to transitional objects (see entry, transitional objects), part-objects, total objects, narcissistic, internal and external objects, selfobjects, object relationships and object choices. Just as we know and feel the presence of gravity (not by seeing it), we know and feel the presence of our object world — through the effects produced by it, within us and in our inter subjective lives. The concept, object, thus is used by psychoanalysts (and others) from different schools of thought as a tool for understanding the complexities of our psychic and relational worlds.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Objet a (Objet Petit a)

Abstract
Jacques Lacan uses objet petit a while referring to the infant’s gaze into the mirror, where it sees the image of its ego ideal. Most importantly, however, it is the first of the unfolding moments of desire for the Other; here it is a desire for the idealized self. The ‘objet petit a’ refers to a desire that lacks in form and language and for Lacan, because desire is always the desire ‘of the Other, there is inevitable frustration and disappointment resulting from the impossibility of adequately symbolizing or knowing the desire of the Other: we never know what the Other truly wants from us. But it is also this very property of the object, its unreachable nature, that compels our seeking, longing and reaching for it, and makes it compelling and desirable. Lacan (1958) once described desire as a remainder once satisfaction of physiological needs is subtracted from demand for maternal attention.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Oedipal

Abstract
The Oedipal complex is foremost among Freud’s most controversial and widely contested ideas. During the Oedipal phase, Freud argued, children develop powerful libidinal strivings for only one parent (the opposite sex), and powerfully rivalrous and jealous feelings towards the other. While boys and girls, in Freud’s view, are innately masculine, femininity for girls is a secondary construction. To successfully enter what Freud called the triangular Oedipal phase, girls must relinquish their innate masculinity by transforming the aim (i.e. active, phallic), the object (i.e. mother) and the erotogenic zone (i.e. clitoris) of the originating masculine sexual drive. Thus, the boy and girl share pre-Oedipal emotional worlds, both attached to the maternal figure and sexually undifferentiated. Here Freud made one of his most controversial claims: the little girl is but a little man waiting to be transformed.
Jeffrey Longhofer

P

Frontmatter

Paranoid-schizoid

Abstract
Melaine Klein used this term to describe internal and external object relations, anxieties and defences. Often the concept was used to refer to a specific developmental moment in early life but also continuing into childhood and throughout adult life. The paranoid position, in development, precedes the depression position. Note the importance of the use of the term ‘position’; it is used quite deliberately to connote, not a fixed and inexorable ‘stage’, but a recursive movement between mental states and organizations. The most significant mental states described by this concept are splitting of the object and the self into good and bad qualities and projection. Lacking the capacity for integration in early life, the infant uses splitting along with introjection and projection to manage anxieties related to the death instinct, birth, hunger and frustration. In splitting (both the ego and the object), the infant projects, at different times and in different ways, feelings of love and hate. These are then projected into different parts of the mother (e.g. the breast) where the mother is experienced as both bad (i.e. depriving, frustrating, not always available) and good (i.e. gratifying, fulfilling, available). Then the projected parts, good and bad, are introjected. There is a recursive movement of projection and introjection (sometimes called re-introjection) along with the additional defences of omnipotence and idealization.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Parapraxis

Abstract
Parapraxis (Greek), a word never used by Freud, means alongside normal practice. Freud used the German, Fehlleistung, or ‘faulty achievement’, to describe a mental error in speech or memory, writing, reading or action. In popular language, these errors are called Freudian slips. It was in his book, ‘Psychopathology of Everyday Life’, where Freud sought to demonstrate how parapraxes function. These errors result from repressed material, slips that occur when we intend one thing in speech or action but say or do another. And, like the symptom, parapraxes are seen as compromise formations or conflicts between conscious intent and repressed thought or feeling. While mental errors may appear unintentional or as simple mistakes, in psychoanalysis they are understood to be motivated and unconsciously determined (i.e. with a cause). The parapraxes, because they occur frequently in everyday life, demonstrate the presence and action of the unconscious.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Parenting

Abstract
We live in an era of no-fault parenting. We put our children in childcare and entrust them to caregivers as if they were like all other fungible commodities. We assume that they can be passed off daily to substitute caregivers without the knowledge of their inner worlds, daily struggles and worries. And we do this knowing that the nature and quality of early relationships matter (Phillip and Shonkoff, 2000). We then blame parents and schools, especially working-class parents (Rubin, 1976), for the pressures and consequences of living and working and attempting to love in a world where two incomes aren’t enough, neighbourhoods and schools are deteriorating and safety nets have contracted. It is a world where economic disparities (Piketty, 2014) have eliminated the middle class and the burden of caring for children presents unprecedented challenges. And after more than a century of liberal economic policies and social and behavioural science research and related policy interventions, our social problems are getting worse (Cartwright, 2012). How can we expect parenting practices to change or improve when the world around most parents is collapsing?
Jeffrey Longhofer

Positivism and critical realism

Abstract
For positivists, explanation results when regularities have been identified, ordinarily in closed systems: event (x), then event (y). Antecedent conditions in the chain of events, such as x, may be added to and measured with increasing degrees of sophistication — what we call statistical methods — and may tell us, at most, that an event did occur or, sometimes, will occur; however, there is no requirement to show ‘why’ two or more events in constant conjunction produce a subsequent event. Grounds for expecting an event to occur, thus, are confused with the causal explanation for why an event occurred; in short, explanation is reduced to prediction.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Primary process and secondary process

Abstract
In primary process thinking, according to Freud, the id releases tension produced by the pleasure principle; unacceptable urges are deferred and a mental image of a desired object is substituted for the urge (the image can be expressed in dreams, hallucinations, fantasies or delusions). In this unconscious processing of the id, which uses symbols and metaphor, unfettered gratification of instinctual demands and drives is pursued. Primary process, activated by the drives, serves the pleasure principle and works to actualize psychic energy.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Projection

Abstract
Projection describes interaction between the inner and outer worlds. With projection, the subject expels or refuses to recognize or acknowledge qualities of the self: thought or feeling, or wish or internal objects. They are projected outwards and onto a person or thing. As a defence mechanism, projection is used to keep out of awareness undesirable aspects of the self by attributing feelings and thoughts (e.g. sexual, destructive) to others and thereby altogether avoid them. The projection of a thought or emotion enables the self to consider the disturbing nature of thoughts or feelings without having to know or feel that they truly belong to them. By disavowing what we do not want to acknowledge about the self we find in the external world feelings, thoughts or other qualities of objects, which have their origins in our own unconscious. Projection works by enabling the expression of desire or impulse, but in a form sufficiently modified that it cannot be recognized by the ego. The theory holds that it is easier to tolerate punishment from the outside than to accept impulses in conflict with moral standards or self-concept.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Projective identification

Abstract
Projective identification, an intrapsychic and interpersonal process, is among the key ideas in the thinking and theory of Melanie Klein and later developed by her follower, Wilifred Bion, and more recently by Thomas Ogden. For Klein (1946), the early infant, in phantasy, splits parts of the self, or the whole self, and projects or inserts them into an external object, which then identifies with the split and projected parts. The aim is to harm, possess or control the external object. Projected phantasies may also be accompanied by provoking behaviours causing the recipient of the projection to act or feel in congruence with the projections. It is in the power of the phantasy of inhabiting the recipient (i.e. with feeling, attitude, behaviour) that the projector asserts control over the recipient; if there is receptivity to projections, the recipient is described as in counter-identification with the projector. When Klein writes about identification, she is referring to the particular manner in which the subject’s self is projected. It is important to understand that Klein used this concept not only to understand fundamental developmental processes (i.e. primitive, pre-verbal modes of communicating and relating where the infant expresses feeling by relating to the mother through the experience of the feeling) but also how it served defensive purposes.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Psychodynamic

Abstract
The term ‘psychodynamic’ tends to have many referents. It may refer to a body of theory grounded in psychoanalytic ideas: the role of the unconscious in determining behaviour (i.e. psychic determinism or causality); internal conflicts and compromise formations; the use of defence mechanisms to protect against the expression of impulse or desire. It may also refer to the dynamic relationship among the agencies of the mind: id, ego and superego. Or it may more loosely refer to any approach borrowing from these ideas.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Psychosis

Abstract
Early in the history of psychoanalysis, psychotic and neurotic phenomena were seen as categorically distinct. Over time, this categorical thinking gave way to a more dimensional understanding and a third category, the perversions, emerged. And much later borderline states presented complicating dilemmas: the potential for decompensation into psychosis during treatment (Kernberg, 1975).
Jeffrey Longhofer

R

Frontmatter

Real

Abstract
For Jacques Lacan the psyche is divided among three orders, domains or registers: the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic. Only neonates experience this relationship to nature, the Real, dominated by need and satisfaction. And for the infant the satisfaction of primal need is unfettered, outside language, and accomplished without separation of self from the outside world: pre-imaginary and pre-symbolic. It is also important to note that there is no absence in the Real. This is a register before culture and before the normative censorship enabled by belonging to a linguistic and social order: this state of nature (i.e. often described as a sense of fullness or completeness) resists representation or symbolization. Because we cannot ultimately know the Real (i.e. it is before language and cognition), throughout life we sense something absent, missing or lacking. And this is the source of motivation for our seeking wholeness or completion (i.e. jouis-sance). Life, however, is punctuated by moments during which the Real erupts and we are faced with the traumatic knowledge of our materiality.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Recognition

Abstract
Recognition and misrecognition, in both their psychological and social, that is, normative dimensions, have been widely debated in social philosophy, social theory, psychology and psychoanalysis. There is no doubt that the recognition of another enables positive feeling, regard and respect (Honneth, 2007). It is important to note that recognition is more than a desire. For Honneth, we need recognition in multiple ways: in politics and the law, in everyday living, in culture and social life, in loving and family life. And for Jessica Benjamin (1998) and others in relational psychoanalysis it is the necessary condition for agency, the formation of subjectivity and gender, and the capacity to see and experience the Other as equal subject (Taylor, 1992).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Reverie

Abstract
Reverie refers to the maternal capacity for sensing and making sense of the infant’s mental life and is, for Bion, essential to what he called alpha function (see alpha and beta elements (and functions)). Transformation of alpha elements (i.e. raw sensory experience, body feelings and relational experiences) requires what Bion called the ‘alpha function’, a function of the maternal mind (i.e. capacity for maternal reverie) necessary for containing the infant’s chaotic, overwhelming, unbearable and inevitable frustrations. In a state of reverie the mother recognizes and holds projections and emphatically responds to these mental states so they can be returned to the infant in digestible and comprehensible forms.
Jeffrey Longhofer

S

Frontmatter

Selfobject

Abstract
The selfobject is a central concept in Heinz Kohut’s self psychology. The selfobject, a person or object ‘internal’ to consciousness, is experienced as part of the self and functions for the self. This use of the concept, object, differs in significant ways from common understandings. For Freud the object is foremost the target of libidinal cathexis. For Kohut, the selfobject is invested with narcissistic energy and acts in the service of the self. In this way the term also denotes a process or movement from experiencing objects as external to the internalization of the perceived qualities of the other. Selfobjects, through empathic attunement (i.e. through mirroring and idealization), function to achieve a cohesive sense of self and throughout development remain crucial to the formation and maintenance of what Kohut calls ‘healthy narcissism’. If the selfobject relationship is felt as soothing, it is likely that one will have a developed internal capacity for soothing. If this fails, some (i.e. mirror hungry) may seek and crave recognition. Others, ideal hungry, may seek the perfect parent. The alter-ego hungry may seek the perfect friend. And the merger hungry may seek selfobjects for need fulfilment.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Self-states

Abstract
In healthy development and psychic life, we are fleetingly and vaguely aware of what Bromberg (2003) calls self-states. These states are pieces in a ‘functional whole, informed by a process of internal negotiation with the realities, values, affects, and perspectives’ of others (Bromberg, 1996, p. 512); when all goes well self-states, even when in conflict with one another, function in relationship to other parts of the self to produce a sense of ‘me-ness’. Troubling collisions among self-states, moreover, are inevitable and may lead to affect dysregulation. For Bromberg, each ‘self-state has its own task and is dedicated to upholding its own version of truth. Each is a piece of a larger-than-life enterprise designed’ (2012, p. 30) to sequester parts of the self. Bromberg sees dissociation, not as a defensive mechanism or a pathology, but as necessary to a sense of coherence and maintenance and continuity of the self.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Shame

Abstract
The ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ offers the following definition of shame, ‘painful distress or humiliation’, and mortification as ‘great embarrassment and shame’. In clinical work shame can be imagined as a continuum (i.e. the social and psychological dynamics of shame) that runs from mild forms of embarrassment (i.e. mostly under cortical influence, language and meaning-making) to greater and greater disability, towards humiliation and finally, to mortification, that is, the wish to die or disappear (Kilbourne, 2002; Lansky, 1997, 2007). And each of these may be accompanied by specific symptoms. As one moves along this continuum, cognition, behaviour and emotion are increasingly under the influence of subcortical and somatic responses.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Social constructivism (or Anti-Essentialism)

Abstract
Today, we are left with several irreconcilable epistemological and ontological claims about the self and the related world of practice: positivism — and empirical realism and social constructivism (and anti-essentialism). We also face the equally troubling tendency to reduce the self to our concepts of self, or to dissolve the subject altogether into a language or discourse without referents (i.e. the self refers to nothing but language and concepts Jones, 2003).
Jeffrey Longhofer

Splitting

Abstract
Splitting is sometimes mistakenly described as black and white or all-or-nothing thinking. While splitting has this quality, it is not merely a cognitive process. One cannot simply think one’s way into or out of splitting or into seeing another person as having both negative and positive aspects or treating them as a whole person with unique thoughts, feelings, desires, fears. Some, too, mistakenly see splitting solely as a defence, and while it may be used defensively, it is foremost a way of experiencing the world, the self and other, feelings and thoughts, and as a necessary aspect of development. In the DSM (see entry, diagnosis and the DSM) splitting is among the differentiating criteria for diagnosis of borderline personality disorder: ‘a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.’
Jeffrey Longhofer

Sublimation

Abstract
Sublimation is most often thought of as a defence mechanism, and it is often counted among the so-called mature or higher level defences. It is mature because it is said to enable substitution, modification or transfer of unacceptable wish or raw impulse to socially acceptable ones. For some, sublimation is seen as a channelling of libido into nonsexual activities (i.e. artistic creation or intellectual activity). While the impulse is repudiated in its original form, sublimation grants a measure of gratification to it. In short, the aim and object of the impulse are altered without impeding appropriate measures of discharge. In other words, substitution (Goebel, 2012) allows for partial gratification (i.e. with social approval) of a more direct one, which would otherwise violate a person’s ideals or normative social standards. Others, especially ego psychologists, argue that with sublimation, the ego is no longer in the service of the id: the ego allows the id to find a means of external expression by changing form. Unlike repression, ‘the unacceptable’ is in this way modified such that gratification can be achieved without disapproval or disapprobation. And especially important in Freud’s thinking about the conditions necessary for social life, sublimation serves an essential purpose in the increase of civilization.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Symbolic

Abstract
For Jacques Lacan, the psyche is divided among three orders, domains or registers: the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic. In the symbolic register (i.e. the ‘big Other’) language, symbol, metaphor and narrative dominate and determine our subjectivity. For Lacan, because speaking and language (i.e. langue and parole) are the same, one can speak only with the expectation of an answer and in this way the big Other is already implied. Moreover, it is the larger social order, the community, which is addressed, without which there would be no speaking.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Symptom, Symptom formation

Abstract
Most often the term’ symptom’ refers to observable or behavioural manifestations of an underlying condition. In psychodynamic theory, they are generally explained by looking into internal, mental or emotional factors, not visible to the naked eye. During treatment, attention is given to internal mental states.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Synchronicity

Abstract
Jung used the term’ synchronicity’ to describe the coincidence (or equivalence) of events, psychic and physical states. Jung called these, ‘temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events’. Jung writes, ‘the meaningful coincidence or equivalence of a psychic and a physical state that have no causal relationship to one another means, in general terms, that it is a modality without a cause, an “acausal orderedness’” (20io, p. 138). He had always been interested in coincidences, especially the remarkable ones unexplained by positivist science. For Jung, positivist science makes the assumption that causality must be understood in terms of temporal relations between cause and effect (i.e. if A precedes B and C in time, A must be the cause or somehow causally related to A): causes precede effects in a constant conjunction of events in shared time and space. Most importantly, Jung argued that the constant conjunction of events (i.e. statistical regularity among variables and prediction) does not offer adequate explanatory accounts in the human sciences (i.e. psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics). Jung was especially interested in what he called “inconstant” relationships. He writes: ‘the philosophical principle that underlies our conception of natural law is causality. But if the connection between cause and effect turns out to be only statistically valid and only relatively true, then the causal principle is only of relative use for explaining natural processes and therefore presupposes the existence of one or more other factors which would be necessary for an explanation’ (Jung, 2010, p. 7).
Jeffrey Longhofer

T

Frontmatter

Transitional space/Transitional phenomena/Transitional object

Abstract
For Winnicott, it is through the infant’s movement from the illusory sense of merger with and omnipotent control over the mother that psychic structure is very gradually shaped. The process involves a steady development towards recognition of the ‘me’ and the ‘not-me’, the internal and the external world. The ‘transitional object’ (e.g. teddy bear, security blanket, thumb) is the first ‘not-me’ possession: it is neither the infant nor the object; moreover, the first ‘not-me’ possessions are universal and variable.
Jeffrey Longhofer

True/False self

Abstract
Although Winnicott offered little clear definition of the sense of the true self, in general he describes a state of feeling connected, whole, real, alive and spontaneous. This is a feeling of being real and alive in the mind and body: it is a state that produces the necessary conditions for intimacy and creativity. Winnicott did not imagine, however, that these were categorical distinctions, and because the true and false selves are potential states for everyone, he placed them along a continuum.
Jeffrey Longhofer

W

Frontmatter

Working alliance/Therapeutic alliance

Abstract
In 2010, in a remarkable move for the mostly anti-psychodynamic and prestigious academic journal, the ‘American Psychologist’, Jonathan Shedler reported findings from a large meta-analytic study (i.e. meta-analysis is a statistical method used to contrast and combine results from many studies to identify patterns among study results, sources of disagreement or other relationships revealed in the context of multiple sources of research findings) showing the efficacy of psychodynamic approaches. Shedler examined results from 80 studies published in top tier academic journals. The findings were indisputable: effect sizes for psychodynamic therapy were as large as those reported for so-called empirically supported or evidence-based ones. The data, moreover, showed that the effects of psychodynamic therapy were not only long-la sting, but improvement also continued after termination (Shedler, 2010). Most important for understanding the significance of the concepts, ‘working or therapeutic alliance’, is the conclusion reached by Shedler and now widely debated well beyond the scope of psychodynamic practice. The research suggests that the effectiveness of most therapeutic approaches to human sufferings include the effect of the therapy relationship on treatment (i.e. transference and countertransference, empathic attunement, all fundamental to the outcomes of all treatment and central to the formation and maintenance of a therapeutic alliance): exploration of the underlying emotional motivations for behaviour, feeling and thought (i.e. self-exploration) and understanding relational patterns.
Jeffrey Longhofer

Wounded healer

Abstract
The wounded healer was a concept used by Jung to understand the underlying motivations of those who offer the self for healing purposes. The archetype of the wounded healer was used to imagine how personal experience of the healer produces empathy in the helping relationship. For Jung ‘only the wounded healer can truly heal’ (1963, p. 125). While it is through the healer’s capacity for empathy that the healer relates to another’s suffering, the healer must of necessity confront his or her own need for healing, the need for continual self-reflection, personal therapy or analysis, and the work of self-reflection is an ongoing and lifelong process. Zerubavel and Wright (2012) write that ‘the wounded healer paradigm suggests that “wounded” and “healer” can be represented as a duality rather than a dichotomy. Woundedness lies on a continuum, and the wounded healer paradigm focuses not on the degree of woundedness but on the ability to draw on woundedness in the service of healing’ (p. 482).
Jeffrey Longhofer
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