The first issue of this volume presents the papers and discussions of the Congress of the Middle European Societies 2000 in Budapest. The subject of the Congress was Ferenczi's famous paper on the “Confusion of Tongues Between the Adult and the Child” (“The Language of Tenderness and of Passion”), published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis in 1949. The second issue reappraises Freud's “The Interpretation of Dreams,” 100 years after its initial publication, and explores new ways of understanding the function of dreams. The third issue focuses on trauma and its component parts of hatred and violence; while the fourth issue presents theoretical papers on Laplanche and affect theory.
“The Beauty and the Beast” Before the Primal Scene: On the Transformation of Speech Arousal. Eva Schmid-Gloor No. 1, pp. 13-26.
Schmid-Gloor presents a severely traumatized patient who was subjected as a child to her father's sexually seductive and verbally assaulting behavior. She describes how the patient tried to verbally excite her in a pleasurable as well as scary way by using sexualized language, repeating the way her father talked to
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her. Elaborating Ferenczi's concept of a two-phase process in the development of guilt feelings in traumatized patients, SchmidGloor includes a contemporary view of splitting, disavowal, and projective identification. She demonstrates that the patient's guilt feelings resulted not merely from her identification with the boundary-violating father, but also from the projective identification she was submitted to by her father. “After the sexual assault, the adult projects the unbearable part of his instinctual desires into the child and from then on treats her in a stern and controlling manner; thus, the child experiences herself as the ‘container’ of these impulses of the other; according to her view of herself as uncontrolled, instinctual, monstrous and dangerous, she develops the guilt feelings, which are avoided by the boundary violator” (p. 15). Schmid-Gloor differentiates between two psychic processes: in consequence of the denial of trauma and in order to preserve the pretraumatic good object, the aggression of the object is split off. At the same time, the child identifies with this aggression—a process supported by the projective identification of the adult that results in masochistic, selfpunitive behavior. Schmid-Gloor shows how the fixation to trauma can become a defense against the patient's oedipal conflicts.
To Meet and to Miss Each Other in the Speech's Space of the Psychoanalytic Process. Jutta Gutwinski-Jeggle No. 1, pp. 37-56.
Musing on the controversy between Freud and Ferenczi (trauma as a real event and/or as a fantasy, and its consequences for psychoanalytic technique), this author discusses the beginning of newer developments in psychoanalytic theory. Referring to Bion, she demonstrates that, in her work with a very disturbed obsessive patient, the weak ego was continuously overwhelmed by a primitive, destructive superego, which relentlessly worked to destroy any development within the analysis. Surviving and working through difficult countertransference anxieties, the analyst understood that the patient's effort to destroy her as a good object was a defense against guilt feelings, separation anxieties,
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and an acknowledgment of the limitations of reality. His weak self needed to remain imprisoned by a destructive, narcissistic part of him, preventing his getting in touch with the pain of his longings and positive feelings. By pointing out these inner attacks on his weakened ego, the analyst helped the patient to allow more benign metabolic processes within the analysis to bear fruit.
The Differential in Psychoanalysis. Linguistic Confusion: Transferal - Translation. Thomas Aichhorn No. 4, pp. 405-443.
This author links Ferenczi's work with Laplanche's seduction theory. He suggests that within the rapprochement of child and adult, “differential mechanisms” are set off, which arise during the initial seduction and produce the sexual unconscious. Aichhorn understands the identification and the translation of the adult's enigmatic messages as differential mechanisms, which produce designified signifiers and set off the drives. The work in psychoanalysis is seen as a never-ending de-translation, a suspension of the ideologies the ego formed in order to solve the initial riddles of the seductive messages.
What Is Still Alive of Freud's Theory of Dreams? Wolfgang Mertens No. 2, pp. 123-148.
Mertens suggests that Freud's classical mechanisms of dream work, condensation, displacement and symbolization do not serve exclusively to disguise an objectionable dream wish, but also represent a ubiquitous kind of perception found in consciousprocesses as well. These mechanisms have been discussed within cognitive linguistics in the sense of classical tropes, as conceptual metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche, indicating that dreams display the syntactical rules of language and cognition. However, as Mertens stresses, classical tropes do not account for the ontogenetically earlier preand protolinguistic emotional, actional, and conflictual contents of psychodynamic processes that
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constitute a matrix for later cognitive linguistic acts. Thus, Mertens concludes that the classical mechanisms acknowledged within the research of cognitive scientists—condensation, displacement, and symbolization—cannot be replaced by a cognitive way of “translating” dreams. The psychodynamic specifics of the unconscious and the unspeakable experiences of the first year of life still require the psychoanalytic way of elaborating dreams via free association or Freud's concept of the dream work.
Nightmares, Dreams and Thinking Processes. Bernard Golse (trans. Martina Feurer). No. 2, pp. 194-206.
This author is concerned with the function of dreams in relation to the general working of psychic processes and memory. Referring to the work of Palombo (1976), he suggests that dreams serve the necessary function to store, integrate, and encode unfulfilled day residues within the epistemic network of our memory systems via multiple associative links. In this respect, dream work can be compared to the work of mourning: dreams work on a withdrawal from the activated object relationships by transferring the day residues of the procedural (action-oriented) memory into the declarative (long-term) memory systems. The malfunctioning of this process is displayed in the nightmares of small or autistic children and of patients suffering from traumatic neuroses. Here the day residue cannot be digested and integrated, but instead constitutes a permanent action program within the procedural memory (p. 200). Nightmares seem to indicate a failure in the bindingprocesses that provide the transition from the original processes (pictogram) to the primary process (scenic elaboration or fantasy). Golse suggests that among other functions of the dream is that of ongoing repetition of the ontogenetically important steps of primarization of the (Ur-) significant within the psychical apparatus.
Notes on the Genesis of Trauma. Raymond Borens No. 3, pp. 257-268.
Borens introduces the main subject of the third issue from a Lacanian perspective. Trauma, he states, is what will have turned
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into a traumaa posteriori. Exposures to the desire or to the jouissance of the Other and to the presence or lack of signifiers are essential here, and help to distinguish between normal trauma, actual trauma, and destroying experiences.
Hatred and Revenge as Complications in the Adolescent Development. James Herzog (trans. Bettina Reiter). No. 3, pp. 269-284.
This author uses detailed material from the analysis of an adolescent, whose acting-out symptoms bore a close relationship to the biographical and theoretical interests of the analyst, to show how the discovery and working through of trauma could be understood only in connection with the development and working through of the transference.
Traumatizations and Unconscious Fantasies of a Female Patient with Multiple Holocaust Traumas. May Widmer-Perrenoud No. 3, pp. 285-300.
Exploring the impact of traumatic experiences on unconscious fantasies, the author demonstrates how the interpretation of dreams helped to reveal the unconscious fantasies that impinged on her conflicts and traumata.
The Rhetoric of Trauma in Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt's Short Story “The Segregation.” Marius Neukom No. 3, pp. 347-364.
This author explores the mechanisms by which this story of a Jewish boy who survives the trauma of segregation elicit the involvement of the reader. These mechanisms can be identified within the framework of a reader response analysis and a psychoanalytic narratology.
Sensoriness and Violence: The Side of Good and Evil? Werner Balzer No. 3, pp. 365-381.
Departing from Freud's view of the early ego as a bodily rooted “surface-being,” Balzer focuses on the fate of the psychic inner space that evolves from the space between the growing ego and
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the objects, as well as from the tolerance of absence and the possible negation of things. Sensory obtrusiveness threatens this transitional space. Being separated from and related to objects simultaneously seems to become increasingly precarious. The circularity of addictive excitations in place of symbolically transformed meanings favors adhesions to sensory surfaces with poor relatedness, an unclear differentiation between inside and outside, and splitting between meaningless presence and absent meaning, futile fullness and meaningful emptiness.
Affect: The Psychology of the Metapsychologies. Ahmed Fayek (trans. Johanna Pelikan). No. 4, pp. 491-520.
This author stresses the affect as the only concept that includes what he calls “the three metapsychologies” (dynamical, topical, and economical) and can thus be understood as a “psychology of metapsychology” (p. 492). He particularly focuses on the difference between the notion of affect as a “quantum” and the notion of feeling. The disappearance of this distinction is seen as the result of the rejection of the concept of Trieb and the dismissal of metapsychology, with its structure-generating concepts. As a consequence of this abolition of metapsychology, the different psychologies of the self (Kohut), the ego (Hartmann), the object (Klein), and the subject (Lacan) developed. For Fayek, psychology and metapsychology used to form a dichotomy that provided a logically consistent framework for psychoanalysis. Since then, new dichotomies have been developed, as, for example, between science and art (Fairbairn, Guntrip), clinical and abstract theory (Klein), biology and psychology (neo-Freudian), and objectivity and subjectivity (Renik). The problems with all these alternative dichotomies are rooted in a lack of clear definitions of their concepts. Fayek pleads for a return to Freud's texts, namely, his metapsychology and his concept of Trieb, in order to integrate rather then split apart psychoanalytic progress within a consistent, basic framework.
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XVII, 2002, 1/2, 3
A double issue on “Father-daughters and mother-sons” opens Volume 17; it assembles papers on difficulties in developing gender identity. The third issue is dedicated to “Politics, History, and Interpretation”; it is organized around Edward Said's speech, written as the Sigmund Freud Lecture in Vienna in May 2001. However, protest against Said as an “anti-Semitic chief propagandist of the Palestinian movement” led to his being uninvited. Instead, he presented his paper at the Sigmund Freud Museum in London in December 2001. This issue also presents the Sigmund Freud Lecture of Sudhir Kahar, presented in Frankfurt in November 2001.
Difference, (Symbolic) Castration, Gender: The Question of Gendering After Lacan. Heinz Müller No. 1/2, pp. 7-22.
This author places the concept of castration at the center of Lacan's theory of the subject, as well as of psychoanalytic thinking in general. Müller emphasizes Lacan's concepts of asymmetry and paradox, both of which characterize the formulas for the position of man and woman: man is subjected to the phallic function; there is one man who is not subjected to the phallic function or to castration (referring to the father of Freud's primal horde); there is no woman independent from the phallic function; and not everything in a woman is tied to the phallic function (p. 18). The author wants to show the usefulness of these concepts for classical metapsychology, for a psychoanalytic definition of sexual difference, and for an extended understanding of Lacan's formulas for gendering.
On Anality in Women. Martha Eicke No. 1/2, pp. 23-30.
Eicke sketches the developmental path of the female child into a woman under the perspective of her anality. The invisibility and untouchability of the female genitals and the fact that sensations
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of the inner body become conscious for the first time during the anal phase point to the specifics of her experience, which is crucial for developing a stable and well-integrated bodily self. Sensations within the stomach that are linked to experiences of need, relief, pleasure, and pain draw the child's interest to the questions of what goes on in her belly and how the products of her excretion are received by her mother. Early feelings and fantasies of power, mastery, and control, or of being persecuted, overwhelmed, ashamed, or plagued by these bodily events, are decisive for further development of her genital discoveries and experiences. Analysis of women with abdominal problems often reveals a depersonalized relationship to the bodily self. Within phases of a negative mothertransference, these patients' struggles center around power and helplessness, idealization, and devaluation. This is especially crucial in work with bulimic patients, who suffer from a high degree of ambivalence toward their primal objects. They experience the loss of control over and separation from the mother as an offensive hurt. Then a replacement for the disappointing object/analyst is sought in food, which can be controlled by the patient herself. However, because food contains an aspect of the bad object, it has to be evacuated by forced vomiting. This reestablishes self-control and omnipotence against the overpowering rape of an inner object.
Psychoanalysis and Healing in the Eastern Traditions. Sudhir Kakar (trans. Regine Strotbek). No. 3, pp. 199-214.
In comparing elements of Eastern spiritual traditions with what psychoanalysis provides, Kakar likens the guru's empathy to Kohut's empathy. The author presents the case of a middleclass woman in an unhappy relationship with her husband, who suffered from depressions, physical and psychical weakness, and dark moods. When she and her husband enter Sai Baba's Ashram, the Swami (Guru) says: “Eventually you've come, I called for you with so much love” (p. 203). Hearing this stirs up an emotional turmoil, and the woman bursts into tears and sobs like a
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child. Kakar says that this woman feels deeply understood, which is an essential part of healing in the Eastern traditions. Interacting with a Guru, which can continue over years, can activate all sorts of problems, e.g., oedipal conflicts, rage, and depressions, without leading to consciousinsight. Here Kakar finds the greatest kinship with Kohut's concept of empathy. However, empathy in the Eastern Traditions leans toward a “mystical pole,” while in psychoanalysis, it tends toward a more “intellectual” one. Kakar states that spiritual exercises can enhance the analyst's capacity to empathically identify with the patient.
Freud and the Non-European. Edward W. Said No. 3, pp. 215-238.
The author focuses on the modernity of Freud's thinking, noting that Freud refused to define Jewish identity in a territorial, historical, or religious way, but instead emphasized the fragility of internally grounded identities by calling Moses, the founding father of Judaism, a foreigner—who at the same time created his own people, the Jews. Freud's “Man Moses” is here read as a typical late oeuvre, and is compared both to Beethoven's later compositions and to Joseph Conrad's work, the latter of which proved to be paradigmatic for African literature. The text emphasizes a non-nationalistic utopia for the Middle East, in which both the region's age-old peoples, the Arabs and the Jews, are advised to adopt a founding mythology that integrates the other as a basis for a peaceful future.
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Schmidt-Hellerau, C. (2003). Zeitschrift Für Psychoanalytische Theorie Und Praxis. Psychoanal. Q., 72(2):531-539