Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To review the glossary of psychoanalytic concepts…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Prior to searching for a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review PEP Consolidated Psychoanalytic Glossary edited by Levinson. You can access it directly by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

(1956). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Observations on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychosis: Freud's 'A Neurosis of Demoniacal Possession in the Seventeenth Century'. Ida Macalpine and Richard A. Hunter. Pp. 175-192.. Psychoanal Q., 25:125-126.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Observations on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychosis: Freud's 'A Neurosis of Demoniacal Possession in the Seventeenth Century'. Ida Macalpine and Richard A. Hunter. Pp. 175-192.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:125-126

British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Observations on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Psychosis: Freud's 'A Neurosis of Demoniacal Possession in the Seventeenth Century'. Ida Macalpine and Richard A. Hunter. Pp. 175-192.

This paper is a companion piece to the authors' article on the Schreber case1 and continues the critique of Freud's evaluation of the role of unconscious homosexual wishes and conflicts in the evolution of paranoia and schizophrenia. The authors believe that Freud erred in assigning such importance to these wishes in cases of paranoia, and they suggest that archaic, asexual procreation fantasies are of greater importance. Macalpine and Hunter examine Freud's analysis (1923) of the life, the illness, and the painting of Christoph Haizmann: Freud's interpretation of the Devil as a father figure was erroneous and led to an incorrect theory of the genesis of the painter's illness. The Devil is an asexual, or rather presexual, figure and a procreative symbol, as shown by evidence from folklore and mythology and by analysis of Haizmann's paintings. There is no real evidence of homosexual conflict or undue castration fears or wishes in the painter's works and his diary; there is rather an eruption of archaic, pregenital, parthenogenic procreation fantasies, together with confusion in regard to sexual identity which arose independent of any homosexual drives. To bolster these theories, the authors point to the painter's preoccupation with pregenital interests, intrauterine fantasies, and the number nine; the 'increasingly archaic, pregenital, and hence asexual and prephallic procreation fantasies' seen in the painter's pictures; the presence of numerous somatic symptoms which are the working through of birth fantasies; and finally the fact that once the painter surrendered his feminine identifications to the Holy Mother and identified himself with men, he regained knowledge of his own sex and showed marked improvement. Procreation fantasies are not clinical rarities but are difficult to recognize. They are difficult to verbalize because they spring from preverbal stages and hence are manifested most frequently as bodily symptoms, and also 'they seem too disruptive

—————————————

1 The Schreber Case. A Contribution to Schizophrenia, Hypochondria, and Psychosomatic Symptom-Formation. This QUARTERLY, XXII, 1953, pp. 328-371.

- 125 -

even for the psychotic mind' to be discussed by patients. It is ineffectual, even dangerous, to make interpretations regarding homosexual wishes and conflicts to schizophrenic patients, whereas interpretations 'of such body fantasies in terms of doubt and uncertainty and hence anxiety about their own sex identity often lead to amelioration of symptoms, sometimes almost immediately'. The authors criticize attempts to explain psychoses in terms of interpersonal disturbances; they are rather to be understood as endopsychic conflicts. They conclude that the confusion and retardation of progress in the understanding of the psychopathology of the psychoses and their treatment by psychotherapy is due to 'adherence' to the the libido theory.

- 126 -

Article Citation

(1956). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:125-126

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.