Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To limit search results by article type…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Looking for an Abstract? Article? Review? Commentary? You can choose the type of document to be displayed in your search results by using the Type feature of the Search Section.

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

Meisel, F. (1989). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XL, 1985: Remembered Images and Trauma. A Psychology of the Supernatural. Lenore Cagen Terr. Pp. 493-533.. Psychoanal Q., 58:167-168.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XL, 1985: Remembered Images and Trauma. A Psychology of the Supernatural. Lenore Cagen Terr. Pp. 493-533.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:167-168

Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XL, 1985: Remembered Images and Trauma. A Psychology of the Supernatural. Lenore Cagen Terr. Pp. 493-533.

Frederick Meisel

After a brief discussion of Freud's understanding of the uncanny as the return of repressed internal conflict, usually of the oedipus complex, the author reports on another sort of uncanny experience: that associated with individual psychic trauma. She describes with rich clinical material the following five aspects of mental functioning consequent upon this trauma. (1) Repetitive memories of traumatic perceptions: "The posttraumatic memory is a mental image which has the intensity of a

- 167 -

current perception and does not decay over time." These images occur in repeated dreams, or as "flashbacks" or daydreams. They are felt to be intrusive and may be seen as a haunting. Often they can be used for purposes of denial (especially of death). They may reflect the guilt of the traumatized, haunted person, whose house then becomes haunted as well. (2) Memory elaborations and distortions: These are of two types, one in which the trauma is remembered in a sensory modality other than the one in which it had originally been experienced. In the other type, perceptions are distorted but are experienced in their original modality; in these, inanimate objects can become animate, and the familiar unfamiliar. These distortions express certain unacceptable aspects of the experience, and also serve denial. (3) Hallucinations: When the ego is overwhelmed, as in a trauma, "imprinting" can describe the brain's response to its perceptions. The friendly ghosts of longed-for lost loved ones must be sought out, whereas the ghosts arising from fear, guilt, and anger come uninvited. The visual aspects of these ghosts come from aspects of the child's perception during a trauma, from the lost and longed-for companion, or from the agent of the trauma. (4) Intrusions and extrusions of imagery: Whole images may be introjected after a trauma, with identification with the figure involved in the trauma, either its agent or the victim. The suddenness and psychic pain of the trauma, and the relatively undefended nature of the overwhelmed ego, can lead to a feeling of being intruded upon and taken over. (5) Contagion of posttraumatic imagery: The brain needs to make sense of the unexplainable and therefore categorizes the trauma with existing anxieties. This makes possible the transmission of trauma and its associated sensory elaborations.

- 168 -

Article Citation

Meisel, F. (1989). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XL, 1985. Psychoanal. Q., 58:167-168

Copyright © 2021, 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.