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Papiasvili, E.D. (1995). Conflict In Psychoanalysis and In Life. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(4):215-220.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(4):215-220

Conflict In Psychoanalysis and In Life

Eva Dubska Papiasvili, Ph.D.

Unconscious conflicts are at the center of Freudian psychoanalytic inquiry, in the psychoanalytic situation as well as in the theory of personality and pathogenesis. The core dynamic formulation, intrapsychic conflict resulting in new psychic formation, is addressed in the paper in the following steps.

First, the development of the concept of conflict throughout the history of Freudian psychoanalysis is reviewed. Next, the analytic and synthetic aspects of conflict theory are explored and the role of conflict in the development of personality organization and pathogenesis is clarified. Then, the contemporary extensions and elaborations of structural theory are presented.

To illustrate analysis focused on conflict, clinical material covering the phases of psychoanalytic process is highlighted. From the beginning stage of analyzing the patient's initial diffuse state of indifference and “weirdness”, analysis proceeds to address primary and secondary symptoms of impotence and exhibitionism and underlying passive-phallic personality organization with conflict around aggression. This leads to the patient's sense of mastery over previously enslaving and “immobilizing” internal turmoil.

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