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Sandler, E.H. Giovannetti, M.d. (2005). Freud and Jung today: Oedipus and symbolisation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(2):535-537.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(2):535-537

Freud and Jung today: Oedipus and symbolisation

Reported by:
Ester Hadassa Sandler

Moderator Marcio de Freitas Giovannetti

The re-establishment of the dialogue between Freudians and Jungians, 90 years after the last participation of Jung in an IPA Congress, has been saluted as a significant sign not just for its historic character or for reviewing our past. Its importance resides mainly in the perspective of scientific exchange that it inaugurates. The common clinical basis, the case of Amalie X, has enabled a better definition of the points of contact and divergence between the two schools of thought.

Murray Stein discussed the two areas in which Jung and Freud disagreed theoretically. The first concerns the centrality of the Oedipus complex and the role of sexuality. He stated that for Jung the incest wish was seen as a general wish to remain a child or to return to a blissful state of mind that childhood represents in the psyche. It has little to do with a specifically sexual wish to be involved with one's mother or father, brother or sister.

The second point was the importance of the symbolisation processes in the integration and fluency of the psychic processes and the different conception of the symbol for the school of analytic psychology.

Through Amalie, he exemplified the difference between symbol and sign: if the analyst's head were a concrete reference to the penis we would be facing a signal, something that simply substitutes something known. Considering the vague character, somewhat undefined and mysterious, that the analyst's head had for the patient, Stein suggested that as a symbol it would point to something also multifaceted and undefined as the ‘conscience’, being a feasible way for Amalie to express what she needed from the analyst; something that could help her change her attitude in relation to life and her body integrating her feminine aspects and reaching the sense of totality that Jung has called Self.

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