The clinical syndrome designated by the diagnostic term borderline exists. However, the diagnosisborderline as such gives no clue about the clinical or psychodynamic feature in this syndrome. Furthermore, the use of the concept borderline by its very vagueness and diffuseness deprives us of a means of understanding these conditions clinically and dynamically. It thereby makes it more difficult to treat these patients with appropriate understanding. I therefore believe it should be abandoned. The diagnosispsychotic character has previously been proposed by the author for this syndrome. It relates more appropriately to the clinical and psychodynamic features and is more consonant with an understanding of the syndrome. The diagnosis suggests, among other frames of reference, the underlying psychotic process which typifies these patients. It provides frames of reference which facilitate understanding of these conditions psychodynamically and genetically. Out of this understanding a more meaningful therapeutic approach may evolve. We therefore feel that the term and concept borderline should be abandoned.
The concept of termination is reviewed and reconsidered. It is suggested that the expression itself is a curiously inappropriate term with its negative and finite connotations which fail to convey the positive hopes for a new beginning that normally surround the end of a satisfactory analysis. The single word termination does not distinguish the external reality of interruption of visits to the analyst from the internal continuation of the analytic process. Moreover, it ignores the awkward circumstance that analysts on qualification often continue to meet their own analyst. Maybe termination remains the appropriate word for a forced or premature ending.
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British Journal of Medical Psychology, Volume 61, Part 4, December 1988
On Self-Boundary: A Study of the Development of the Concept of Secrecy
Russell Meares and Wendy Orlay
The child's developing concept of a ‘boundary’ between an inner world of 'self and an outer world 'non-self is central to a number of systems of psychodynamic theory. The notion of boundary is also essential to Piaget. Despite the evident importance of the subject, there have been few attempts to discover the age at which this concept emerges. This study of 40 urban Australian children uses the development of the concept of secrecy as a marker. Most children attained this concept during the fifth year of life.
Most works which deal with ‘individuation’ fail to examine the aspects of the process, and thus omit mention of its sometimes traumatic character. By drawing on shamanism as a metaphor for understanding individuation, this essay attempts to shed more light on those periods of the process which have a dramatic and, indeed, revolutionary impact in consciousness, experienced at times as a terrifying, lonely, and difficult ordeal by the individuating person. It explores the symbolic meaning of the world tree, an important mythological feature of the shaman's transformation, touching on such symbols as ‘water’, ‘serpent’, and ‘bird’. It further explores the seven steps of the shaman's ascent of the world tree in order to reflect on the possible stages of individuation and how the process might evolve. By viewing individuation as a type of shamanic initiation, a new perspective is offered for Jungian analysts who have to guide others through the process as well as for those who, having been launched into the experience, need a stable mooring in order to make sense of it.
The primary nature of narcissism is crucial, serving as the essential and necessary origin for the entire course of sexual desire, including and most especially the oedipal structure. The narcissistic wish involves the overcoming of ‘sexual difference’. The castration idea creates the possibility of phallic primacy, with the phallus itself a representation of the missing penis. The phallus is then characterised as providing a relation to the world, as providing the basis for the recovery of lost or missing objects as understood by Freud's idea of reality-testing. The ‘ego ideal’ is shown to be nothing else than another instance of phallic primacy. Femininity too is a variant of phallic primacy and is a form of secondarynarcissism. With phallic primacy and primarynarcissism, Freud can, using the oedipal structure and the castration complex, account for the partial renunciation of narcissism, the turn of desire towards the world and the valuation of others.
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(1989). Abstracts from other Journals. Brit. J. Psychother, 5(4):606-608