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Bing, J.F. (1985). The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982: A Revision of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Affect. Pinchas Noy. Pp. 139-186.. Psychoanal Q., 54:507.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982: A Revision of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Affect. Pinchas Noy. Pp. 139-186.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54:507

The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982: A Revision of the Psychoanalytic Theory of Affect. Pinchas Noy. Pp. 139-186.

James F. Bing

Noy presents an extremely complex and all-encompassing view of the theory of affectscomplex of necessity, for the subject is complicated. Noy states that one reason for disagreement on the theory of affects is that each writer presents his or her own idea of the theory and disregards any others. Some authors have stressed affects as a form of communication; others, as a phase of perception which involves a phenomenon of arousal or organization (or disorganization) of behavior. Noy conceives of affect as being an "organizational phenomenon, a 'program' organizing in a goal-directed manner the various psychological and physiological systems and processes taking part in behavior, perception, and communication." It is impossible to do justice here to an article as rich as this, but a few highlights are interesting to note. In his section on multiple affects, Noy offers a fascinating theory to explain psychosomatic disease. The somatic system is the result of multiple affects which are either in conflict with each other and cause one form of psychosomatic disease, or the symptom is the result of two affects that cause a hypertrophy of a psychological reaction. Noy speculates that further study will show that this kind of interlocking of affects may help to explain the specificity of certain kinds of diseases. In the relationship of affect to primary and secondary processes, Noy argues cogently that one element of the affect is controlled by the primary process, whereas when the affect is accompanied by an idea, it is under the control of the secondary process. A healthy ego is the enabler or synthesizer of the affect and its connective idea. Without a certain degree of flexibility and adaptability, problems will arise. An affect that cannot be coordinated with an idea may well produce violence and acting out in a number of different forms. Similarly, an idea without an affect becomes an isolated event without any real meaning. Noy elaborates on three issues—(1) identification of the affect, (2) acknowledgment of the affect, and (3) differentiation of the affect—and he demonstrates the therapeutic implications of these three aspects.

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Article Citation

Bing, J.F. (1985). The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 54:507

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