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Freud And Beyond

The site of Fraud’s dig was not the earth but the minds of his attentions; the tools he used were not a shovel and brushes but psycho analytic interpretations. The exhilaration was the same, however. Freud felt he had discovered an important site and had fashioned the necessary tech oenology for exposing the underlying, structure of the human mind and off unearthing the archaic history of both the individual patient and all humankind; 2 FREUD AND BEYOND The historical development of Fraud’s theories is extremely intricate and complex.

Since our focus is n to intellectual history per SE, but an explicit Zion of the concepts Freud bequeathed to contemporary psychoanalysis, we will to examine that development in any detail. Yet a broad sketch of the chronological unfolding of Fraud’s major concepts is essential to appreciate ins their origin in the clinical problems his patients presented to him Unlike Schlemiels, who knew precisely what he was looking for, Freud stumbled across his route to the “well of the past,” his access to the depths, as he went, while trying to address his patients’ difficulties in living in the present and on the surface.

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FROM BRAIN TO MIND Freud graduated from medical school at a time when the study of the pays cal structure of the brain Vass in its burgeoning Albanian. The neuron, the individual nerve cell, had recently been isolated; techniques were being developed for tracing neural pathways; the enormous complexity of the brain was just beginning to be sensed. Freud started out as a researcher in neurophysiology, and when he switched from research to clinical practice, he treated patients suffering from what were understood to be neurological conditions, victims of damaged or weakened nerves.

The dramatic It is not the nerves themselves that are damaged; something is disordered in the patient’s thoughts, thoughts about his hand. The patient may have no direct access to hose thoughts; they may be absent from the conscious portion of his mind. Yet they have a powerful effect and result in a physical phenomenon. Chariot demonstrated not only that ideas, rather than damaged nerves, were? Responsible for conditions like glove anesthesia and hysterical Para his a ND blindness, but that ideas could also effect (generally temporary) cures.

Chariot would place patients in hypnotic trances,and, through hype notice suggestion, induce hysterical symptoms that hadn’t been there before. He might say something like, ‘When you awake, you avail be u enable to see, unable to walk. And, even more startling, he would use hypnotic guess- Sigmund Freud and the Classical psychoanalytic Tradition 3 Zion to temporarily remove symptoms, to make the hysterically blind see, the hysterically paralyzed walk. The problem is not in the flesh-?the hand, the eyes, the legs are intact. The problem is an idea, out of awareness-?The idea that the patient cannot feel, cannot see, cannot walk.

That pathogenic idea is counteracted by another idea, the hypnotists injunction to feel, to see, to walk. That idea, introduced root the mind of t he subject by the hypnotist, can control expel irenic and behavior, despite the fact that it seems to be wholly unknown and inaccessible to the subject herself. Before Freud, hysterics-?patients who suffered prolifically disabilities but evidenced no obvious actual physical impairment-?were regarded as malingerers, morally suspect fakers, or victims of a generally weakened near Voss system that produced random, meaningless disturbances in function ins.

Freud, following Chariot, Beriberi, and other practitioners of med cal hypnotism, demonstrated that hysterics suffered a disease not of brain but of mind. It was ideas, not nerves, that were the source of trouble. Why. Loud certain Ideas become so different from ordinary ideas in the mind? How do some ideas become inaccessible? How do they develop the capacity for wreaking such havoc? Some progress was made toward answering these questions by Freud ‘s first collaborator, Josef Brewer, agilely respected Viennese internist.

In 1880 Brewer was treating a brilliant young woman named Bertha Oppenheim, who later became a pioneer in the discipline of s social work. While nursing her sick father, Oppenheim had developed a wide array of dramatic gyms toms, including paralyses and. Speech dysfunctions. Brewer tried placing her in a hypnotic trance and, using the experimental procedures of Chariot and others, removing the symptoms through posthypnotic suggestion. Although this attempt proved ineffective, Oppenheim, while in the hypnotic trance, fell into talking about her various symptoms.

Brewer, evincing the qualities that were to become crucial In a psychoanalyst-?curiosity and a willingness to follow the patient’s lead-?allowed her simply to talk. With some encounter augment on his part, her associations would lead back to the point at which the symptom originally appeared, inevitably some disturbing, stressful event. Oppenheim and Brewer discovered that this talk and the emotional discharge produced when the memory . If the original disturbing incident emerged had a curative effect Through this process, which she called “chime nee sweeping,” the symptoms disappeared (Freud c Brewer, 1895, p. 0). At one point, for example, Oppenheim found herself u enable to drink Liz aids; she had no idea why, but they had suddenly become repugnant to. Her. She became dehydrated and began to be seriously ill. Employing the proceed- 4 dare they had developed together, Brewer placed her in a trance and prod De her into talking about hard disgust. She felt disinclined to talk about its onset. He pushed her. Overcoming a strong resistance, she remembered recently winemaking into her room to discover the dog of her “English lady companion, whom she did not care for” lapping water from a glass (p. 4). She recounted the scene with great anger that’s wanting to be polite, she had held back at the time. She then emerged from the trance, and requested a glass of water. Brewer told an eager Freud about these experiences, and in 1893 the two published the first psychoanalytic essay, “A Preliminary Communication,” which stated, “Hysterics suffer mainly from reminiscences” (Freud Brewer, 1895, p. 7). Hysteria was caused by trapped memories and the feelings associated with them, they argued.

Those memories and feelings had never been lived through in an ordinary way; they had become split off from the rest of the mind, only to fester and rise to the surface in the form of dish concerting and seemingly inexplicable symptoms. If those symptoms were traced to their origins, their meanings would become apparent and the feel inns would be discharged in a cathartic burst. Then the symptoms would sappier. Freud and Brewer added fuller theoretical chapters and extended case histories (including that of Bertha Oppenheim, whom they called Anna O. A and published Studies on Hysteria in 1895. Perhaps the most important question raised by these initial clinical dish covers was: “Why do certain experiences generate feelings that become dish associated, split ‘off from the rest of the mind? In this first psychoanalytic work, Freud and Brewer actually wrote separate theoretical chapters, Gus-* smiting two very different hypotheses. Brewer argued that the experiences that came dissociated and therefore problematic were those that took place during altered states of consciousness, which he called “hypnotic states. Oppenheim, for example, was exhausted and overstressed from nursing her sick father. The disturbing events could not be integrated into her ordinary mental processes because they-were registered in an altered state of mind, when she was already not herself. By placing her in a trance and encouraging her to relive the memories, the split was healed, normal processing of emotions took place, and the mind was made whole t)once again. Perhaps, Brewer thought, certain people were more prone to hypnotic states than others and therefore more” likely to become hysterics.

Freud introduced a very different hypothesis: The pathogenic memories and feelings were dissociated not because of a prior altered state Of con consciousness but because the actual content of those memories and feelings was disturbing, unacceptable and in conflict with the rest of the person’s ideas and feelings. It was not that they just happened to be recorded in a Sigmund Freud and the Classical Psychoanalytic Tradition 5 different way, to have fallen into a different part of the patient’s mind-?they ere incompatible with the rest of consciousness and were therefore actively kept out of awareness.

The difference between these early hypotheses Of Brewer and Freud highlights the features that would become characteristic of Fraud’s understanding of mind throughout his subsequent career. Whereas Brewer saw hysterics as,people susceptible TA altered states of consciousness, to being “spaced out,” Freud saw hysterics as people rent with conflicts and harboring secrets, from themselves snivel as from others. FROM HYPNOSIS TO PSYCHOANALYSIS From 1 895 to 1 905 Freud produced a burst of creative theorizing and onion dative clinical technique perhaps unrivaled in the history of ideas.

The theory was always stimulated* by a ND grounded in his clinical efforts; the theory often led to technical innovations that in turn generated-new clinical data, which invariably stimulated more theoretical advances. During this tender period, psychoanalysis emerged from hypnotism and became a distinct methodology and treatment in its own-right; many of the basic concepts that guide f)psychoanalytic thought to this day were established. Freud began to find hypnosis less helpful in gaining access to pathogenic memories,and linings than he and Brewer had initially, perceived it to be.

As Isis clinical experience grew, Freud realized that what was most crucial too permanent removal of symptoms was for the objectionable, uncommon couscous material to become generally accessible to normal consciousness. (For Oppenheim, for* example, the-unconscious thought might be some thing like “l hate this woman’s loathsome dog and it angers me that she lets it drink from my glass. “) Troublesome “reminiscences” that-emerged dour ins a hypnotic trance slipped beyond reach again as the patient came out of the trance.

There was resistant force in the patient’s mind, which Freud called the defense, that actively kept the memories out of awareness. (A well-bred young woman of Pantheism’s time and class would not have such unseemly rage about the dog. ) The. Hypnotic trance, artificially cirri commented the defense, gaffing access for the analyst to the festering secrets. But the patient was the one who needed to know, and the patient could not know because the resistance to that particular memory (and Simi liar associatively linked memories) was reinstated when the trance ended.

Simply being informed of the secret by t e analyst after the trance would give the patient only intellectual, not experiential, awareness of it. (Oppenheim would know, based ion her faith in the analyst, that she must hate the dog and possibly the governess too, but she doesn’t feel the hatred and disgust) 6 The Topographic Model Fraud’s struggle with this clinical problem led to crucial theoretical and technical advances.

In terms of theory, he began to envision a topographical model of the mind, dividing it into three different realms: an unconscious, containing unacceptable ideas and feelings; a preconscious, containing acceptable ideas and feelings that are capable of becoming conscious; and the conscious, containing those ideas and feelings in awareness at any par tactical time. The theoretical advances represented in the topographical model were, accompanied by technical innovations.

The clinical task shifted from the discovery of the hypnotized patient’s secrets by the analyst to the removal of the defenses against those secrets in the patient’s own mind. Freud strut glee to find a’ method that would dismantle or dissolve the defenses rather than temporarily lull them as hypnosis did. Around the turn of t he century, he titled on the method of free association, the basic procedure that has been the backbone Of p psychoanalytic technique ever since. Free Association Free, association retained some of the trappings of h hypnotism.

The patient lies comfortably on a couch in a quiet, peaceful setting, a situation intended to induce a state of mind midway between normal waking consciousness and a trance. The analyst is behind the head of the couch, put of direct vision. The patient says whatever comes into her mind, with no effort to screen or select thoughts, and is encouraged to become a passive observer of her own stream f conscious sees: “Act as though you were a traveler sitting-next to the window of a railway carriage and describing to someone inside the carriage the changing views which you see outside” (Freud, 191 3, p. 35). As a strategic device, free association helps the analyst discern the patient’s secrets, the unconscious wishes, while the defenses remain active and can be ad dressed. By encouraging the patient to report on all fleeting thoughts, the analyst hopes to get the patient to bypass the,e n armor select Zion process that screens out confliction content. Yet the patient is fully awake and can be hon. that her unintended flow of thoughts contains dish guised ideas and “feelings that she has been keeping out of awareness.

Transference and Resistance Free association is impossible to do for very long, Freud discovered. The defenses block the emergence of thoughts too closely linked to the repressed, secrets. Furthermore, confliction thoughts and feelings that constitute the center of the patient’s difficulties are soon transferred to the person of the analyst, who becomes an object of intense longing, love, and/or hate. The 7 patient refuses to speak of embarrassing or seemingly trivial thoughts, par jocularly because those thoughts often pertain to the affiliation’s patient often/minds she has no thoughts at all.

The resistance to particular free sass conations is the very sane force, Freud began to speculate, that drove the original memories out of consciousness in the first place. It is precisely this transference and this resistance that need to be e”deposed, identified, and dish solved. By anal hazing the patient’s free associating and resistances to free associations, Freud believed, wife could gain access to both sides of the path eugenic conflict: (1 ) the e secret feelings and infirmaries and (2) the defenses-? he thoughts and feelings reconstruction’s secret feelings and memories.

We can see this conflict in the case of Gloria. A lava. Year in her twenties who grew up in an upper-middle-class family in a large Western city, she sought analytic treatment because she was paralyzed in tying to decide whether to marry the man she had been living with for some time. ‘”lust’s don’t know if he is Mr.. Right,” she said. Marriage was not the only area in which Gloria was indecisive, analytic inquiry began to reveal. Although she her self h ad never quite articulated it, even to herself, a pervasive doubt shad owed all important areas of her life.

Virtually every activity seemed to expose her to lurking dangers. It was very difficult for her to allow herself to act spontaneously in any circumstances, and her life w as consequently constricted and fretful. Each step of the way, she envisioned the worst POS Siebel scenario, and then combed her world for clues as to its likelihood. In the initial months of analysis, these doubts, ruminations, and fears were traced increasingly further back in her childhood. She timbered being very worried that something disastrous would happen other-parents and other relatives.

She would make up games with imagined predictive powers: if an even numb. Ere of cars came around the corner in the next two minutes, everything Would be all “right; an odd number meant disaster was sure to strike. Gloria agreed to begin her analytic sessions ‘in much the same way Fraud’s patients began’ theirs-?by reporting on whatever she found herself experiencing. This soon became problematic, however. Shaded great dif cult in* knowing what it Was she felt she “should” talk about; she headed Off the e horrifying possibility of having nothing to say by preparing detailed agendas for the sessions ahead of time.

Sometimes she stopped speaking altogether. With some coaxing on the part of t he analyst, she revealed that she had begun to feel anxious because she was-having trouble graining and using whatever the analyst said back to her. T he analyst’s questions and statements seemed complicated and confusing; his responses seemed “too big” and her mind seemed too small. 8 FREUD-AND BEYOND Among Fraud’s most important clinical observations was that the patient’s difficulties in the analytic situation (the resistance and transference) Ay not an obstacle to the treatment but the very heart of it.

Ore the course of many months, it became apparent that Glorious fears about free-associating and the analyst’s interpretations derived from the same fears that had doom innate her childhood and underlay her anxious, inhibited adulthood- If she allowed her ideas simply to flow, she was convinced, dangerous and deeply confliction thoughts and fantasies would emerge. Her feelings, her bodily processes, her imagination-?these were dangerous, likely to get out of con troll; they needed to be reined in at all costs. Without realizing it, She was constantly monitoring and scrutinizing her experience and inhibiting her mental processes.

What was most helpful to patients like Gloria, Freud found, was not cirri cementing her defenses (through hypnotism) to discover her secrets, but exploring those very defenses as they manifested themselves in the analytic situation- The central focus of the analytic process shifted to the analysis of transference (the displacement onto the analyst of the patient’s confliction feelings and wishes) and the analysis, of rest assistance (the impediments to free association). DREAMS Among the associations generated by Fraud’s patients were their dreams.

Freud treated dreams like any other associations: they were likely to con taint denied thoughts and links to earlier experiences. Freud himself was a-prolific dragger. H e also had certain troublesome neurotic symptoms. Soon, his most important patient became himself. He immersed himself in the new technique he had created*, cassock eating to the elements in his own dream life and communicating his self-discoveries in feverish letters to a physician friend in Berlin, Wilhelm Flies, who fun joined, at that considerable distance, as Fraud’s . Quasi-analyst. By 1 895, Freud felt he had grasped the secret of dream formation. Dreams ARP disguised fulfillments Of confliction wishes, Freud became invoiced (Freud, 1900). In sleep, the dynamic force (the defenses) that ordinarily keeps forbidden wishes from gaining access to consciousness is weakened, as in a hypnotic trance. If the wish were simply represented directly in the dream, sleep would likely be disrupted. A compromise is struck between the force that propels the wish into consciousness and the force that blocks access to consciousness. The, -wish may appear ITT the dream only in a disguised form, an intruder dressed up to look as though he belongs. The true meaning of the dream (the latent dream thoughts) 9 undergoes an elaborate process of distortion that results in the dream as experienced (the manifest content of the dream). Condensation, displace meet, symbolism-?all are employed in the dream work to transform the unacceptable latent dream thoughts into acceptable, although apparently meaningless, disconnected images, which are strung together into a story {secondary elaboration), to throw the dreamer even further oft he track.

The technique for interpreting dreams follows from’ this conception of their formation. Each element of the manifest content of the dream is ISO elated and associated to. The associations to the various elements lead in dif fervent directions, exposing the different memories, thoughts, and feelings that had created them (through condensation, displacement, and symbolization). Eventually the various lines of association coalesce in the nodal latent defame thoughts. Dream interpretation reverses the process of dream formation, tracing the path* from the disguised surface to the hidden secrets lying beneath.

The form that Freud delineated in his theory of dreams became the cent trial structural pattern for his understanding of all important psychic phew nominee. The structure of neurotic symptoms, slips of the tongue (Freudian slips), and motivated errors in general are all identical to the structure of the dream: a osteoporosis is struck between an unacceptable thought or feeling and the defense against it. The forbidden material is allowed access into conscious experience only in disguised form.

An early dream of Glorious can be analyzed from this perspective. She dreamed that she Was five yea RSI old, waiting with great excitement for her father to return hornier from work. When he arrived, it was discos red that he had something disgusting on his shoe, probably some dog feces he had tipped in. But there was something* ominous about whatever this was he had brought in. The dream ended with a feeling of spooky unease news (rather like the feelings generated by the alien pods of the- movie Invasion of the Body Catchers).


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