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Di Ceglie, G. (2016). Exploring 'Security and Freedom' in the psychoanalytic relationship. IJP Open, 3:33.

(2016). IJP Open, 3:33

Exploring 'Security and Freedom' in the psychoanalytic relationship

Giovanna Di Ceglie

This paper explores the theme of ‘Security and Freedom’ within a psychoanalytic perspective. The original idea regarding the link between security and fredom originates from the sociological work of Z. Bauman. Security and Freedom are viewed by him as equally important values in society. In his view, people need both security and freedom but there is a tension and an inversely proportional relationship between the two: a quest for too much security will lead to a reduction of freedom (slavery at the extreme) and conversely an extreme quest for freedom can lead to chaos and loss of security. Ideally in society an appropriate balance between the two is desirable. Erich Fromm’s book The Fear of Freedom is discussed as it provides a missing link between the sociological and psychoanalytical perspective . In this paper I consider the relevance of viewing security and freedom as a ‘binomy’. In the development of the internal world the two needs seem to be not only interlinked in the way described by Bauman but also as interacting in a way in which a certain degree of inner as well as external freedom is necessary to increase the sense of security and vice versa. It seems that the inversly proportional relationship cannot be applied in a simplistic way. This paper explores how security and freedom as a ‘binomy’applies to child development as well as to the analytic relationship with particular reference to Klein’s view on ‘The psychoanalytic attitude’ expressed in her unpublished work (Spillius, 2007), as well as to the work of Henry Ray’s on the claustro-agoraphobic dilemma. The relevance of these concepts are illustrated by clinical work.

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