Primal Repression: Clinical and Theoretical Aspects
Warren Kinston and Jonathan Cohen
Primal repression, long an obscure and unusable concept, has been given a precise place in a recent reworking of the theory of repression (Cohen & Kinston 1984); and this paper specifically examines its properties and presentation. Primal repression refers to an absence of psychic structure which can be made good in the process of emotional growth. It is a part of the mind where trauma persists; and it has a close connexion to the unrepressed unconscious. Direct emergence of primal repression is a threat to life and its activation is therefore risky. During psychoanalysis, primal repression is normally avoided by object-narcissism buttressed by neurotic defences, but it may be reached and worked with in the presence of a non-internalizable valuing and nurturing relationship which we label ‘primary relatedness’. This relation is therefore the interactional context for emotional growth. Numerous clinical examples are provided to demonstrate characteristic features of this region of the mind as seen in psychoanalyses. Vignettes illustrate the experiences of patient and analyst as primary relatedness is established; the consequent re-emergence of traumatic states and unmet needs, often initially in the form of severe physical and psychological deterioration; primitive forms of symbolization in the course of repairing primal repression; and the role of action in emotional growth.
A Contribution to the Subject of “Psychic Trauma” Based on the Course of a Psychoanalytic Short Therapy
The paper is based on precise documentation of the analytical short therapy of a patient with a typical traumatic neurosis, extracts from the therapy being presented. The typical case makes it possible to adduce considerations of a theoretical, clinical and therapeutic nature whereby traumatic neurosis can be distinguished from other disturbances - in particular, psychoneurosis. Such considerations are important because pure forms of psychoneuroses and traumatic neuroses are much rarer than transitional forms. In so far as it is possible to show that a typical traumatic neurosis calls for a therapeutic procedure which differs in some respects from that applicable in psychoneurosis, this may have consequences for the handling of traumatic inclusions in patients with predominantly psychoneurotic problems, as well as in other disturbances, such as borderlinepersonality disturbances.
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British Journal of Medical Psychology Volume 59, Part 2. June 1986
Teaching the Psychotherapeutic Method: Some Literary Parallels
There is a need for a theoretical account of the psychotherapeutic process or method, as distinct from psychotherapeutic or psychoanalytic theory itself. A four-stage model is presented which attempts to delineate the elements of the psychotherapeutic method: structure, space, discovery and description. This account puts discovery as the central theme in psychotherapy. The psychotherapeutic method as described is compared first with Medawar's account of the scientific method, and then with two literary versions of creativity. The conditions under which psychotherapeutic discovery occurs, scientific hypotheses arise and artistic activity takes place are structurally similar. The implications of this for teaching psychotherapy are discussed, especially in relation to the establishment and recognition of transferential experience.
The Journal of Analytical Psychology Volume 31, Number 2. April 2986
Free Association and Jungian Analytic Technique
R. S. Charlton
Jung's major endeavour in terms of his clinical work was to open up the analytic field. He attempted to include not only the limited data of the Helmholtzian sciences, but to allow all human experience to enter into the analytic dialogue. He stressed the importance of religion, myth, culture, the need for the mysterious and non-rational, and the vital importance of the analyst as a participant observer. He was well aware of the limitations of the infant discipline of psychoanalysis. He rightfully saw that the greatest danger it posed lay in its potential for dictatorial reductive rigidity and he rejected the technique of free association accordingly.
However, numerous and significant revisions and alterations in psychoanalytic theory and practice have resulted in a conceptualisation of free association which is potentially valuable to the Jungian analyst. Free association can be seen as an avenue toward the ‘tension of opposites’ and a means of promoting the activation of the transcendent function.
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(1986). Abstracts from other Journals. Brit. J. Psychother, 3(2):193-194