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Ejve, B. (1983). Resonance and Ambiguity: about Metaphorical Thinking. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 6(2):81-96.

(1983). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 6(2):81-96

Resonance and Ambiguity: about Metaphorical Thinking

Birgitta Ejve, M.D.

There are two areas within the psychoanalytic world of ideas that have always been of particular attraction to me.

i)   How primary process conceptions with deep archaic roots and sources can be united with the ego's structuring functions. This integration of primary and secondary processes forms an ability to experience resonance and ambiguity — metaphorical thinking. This ability can be further developed through, for instance, psychoanalysis, art, literature and music.

ii)  How the young person during late and post-adolescence finally emerges in the grown-up world with a personality of his own. This happens with the help of construction units from early experiences of the interior and exterior worlds; from the experience of the union with beloved but threatening omnipotent parental images; from the development of object constancy and an internalized conscience; and, gradually, through questioning, reconsideration and departure from the infantile, incestuous ties.

It is not strange that the road is often rocky; that the questioning sometimes seems to work against one's own interests; that break-downs in the form of psychotic episodes, depressions, acting out and “sitting at home” are more prevalent during late and post-adolescence that most people, even professionals, know.

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