Affect, Object, and Character Structure
Affects, object representations, and character structures are three central concerns for contemporary psychoanalytic treatment.
The much neglected difficulties with positive affects and affective attitudes such as joy, exhilaration, courage and competency are explored in the present volume through extensive case material. A treatment model emphasizing a reversal of the traditional figure-ground is carefully delineated; positive affects, for so long held in the background, are brought into the foreground and become the central focal points for the psychotherapy process. Oedipal implications of this reversal in figure-ground are comprehensively delineated.
The object relational implications of this reversal of perspective are explored in the present volume via an intensive focus upon the protectiveness reactions via which earlier objects are repetitively shielded from angry critical reactions and negative judgments. The incapacity to mourn and, ultimately, let go of pathological introjects and identifications is linked to an unconscious need to protect early objects against unfavorable perceptions and associated affective reactions. A failure to attain maturational momentum from a more adequate process of mourning, object relational integration and psychic healing results from these pathological protectiveness reactions.
Common forms of character pathology and resistances can be viewed as resulting from an excessive need to protect early pathological objects. The extreme stuckness and repetitively unsatisfying behavior patterns of many characterologically disturbed patients can be alleviated via an intensive form of resistance analysis focusing upon the reluctance to experience positive affects and the inner object relational paradigms associated with that reluctance. The paradoxically beloved toxic objects and nostalgic attachments unconsciously underlying many forms of character disorder need to be repeatedly focused upon, in the treatment model explicated in the present volume.
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The Centrality of Affects in Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Clinging to Negative Affects
Dread of Exhilarated Affects in the Phobic Patient
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affective attitudes affective experience aggressive anxiety aspects associated behavior benign Bollas bulimic capacity chapter character disorders character pathology character structure characterological child childhood clinical competency conception countertransference courage defensive depressive developmental differentiated dissociated dread drive dynamic dysfunctional early objects ego ideals emotional empathic environment exhilaration explored fantasies father feelings felt forms Freud's functions Giovacchini hedonic idealized individual inhibited inner interactions internalized introjects involved joyful Kernberg linked loving manifested masochism masochistic maturational maturationally mother mourning narcissistic nature need to protect negative affects negative oedipal neurotic object relational experiences object relational perspective object representations object usage oedipal conflict Oedipus complex pathological phobic positive affects potential preoedipal primitively organized patients projective identification projective identificatory proxy evocation psychoanalytic treatment psychodynamic psychopathology psychotherapy reactions regard relationship repeatedly resistance sense of effectiveness severely sex parent sexual signal superego symbiotic symptoms tendencies theoretical therapeutic therapist tions tive ultimately uncon unconscious underlying wife Winnicott