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Gill, M.J. (1939). Revue Française de Psychanalyse. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):130-144.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française de Psychanalyse

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(1):130-144

Revue Française de Psychanalyse

Margaret Jones GillAuthor Information

(Vol. VIII, No. 1)

1.   Freud, S. A Case of Paranoia Running Counter to the Psychoanalytic Theory of That Disease.

2.   Parcheminey, G. The Problem of Hysteria.

3.   Loewenstein, R. Phallic Passivity in Man.

4.   Schiff, Paul. The Paranoias and Psychanalysis.

5.   Friedmann, P. On Suicide.

1.   Freud, S. A Case of Paranoia.—See Collected Papers, Vol. III.

2.   Parcheminey, G. The Problem of Hysteria.—This is a general article that rehearses the Freudian conception of conversion of affect into somatic objectivity. There is a useful summary of the various present-day hypotheses and some practical suggestions re the rational use of the transference for therapeutic purposes. The analogies and homologies seen in hypnosis are instructive.

In conclusion, the unity of the psychoanalytic doctrine is shown, the different modes of cure are covered briefly and the psychoanalytic method, is considered the most satisfactory.

3.   Loewenstein, R. Phallic Passivity in Man. According to this author there is a phallic passivity in man. Man has two forms of genital function; active—penetration, passive—desire for caresses coming from outside, his own or another's hand. These two aspects of the genital function, active and passive, are the reflection of two phases of the infantile evolution of that function. The first manifestation of the phallic phase is represented by desires and acts with passive aim; desires to be seen, to be touched, to touch oneself. The active aim of penetration does not appear until later and then often only in the form of vague phantasies. There is an intermediary form, that of rubbing penis against objects or the body of a woman. It is convenient then, to distinguish two stages, active and passive of the phallic phase; the passive comes first, even uniting with the Œdipus complex, and the active follows. Several cases are cited to show the connection between this passive phallic phase and ejaculatory troubles in man. The influence that pregenital stages of the libido have on the evolution of the genital function has been made evident by Ferenczi, Reich and Fenichel. This influence is accounted for, this author thinks, by the fact that it is exercised on a period of the genital function when the aims of the latter are excessively passive i.e., genital organs of the boy in this period act like any other erogenous zone and the aim is to be caressed. In this lies the great difference between passive and active phallic periods. With the latter comes primacy of the genitals over other erogenous zones. Interference can be produced secondarily between phallic activity and passivity on the one hand and aggression and

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masochism on the other so that the repression of aggression leads to a regression of the genital function toward a passive mode reenforced this time by the support of masochism. The clinical picture of the great majority of men suffering from potency troubles is not limited to inhibition of normal genitality but is translated also by the conservation or reappearance of genital satisfactions of a passive mode. The castration complex in a great majority of cases inhibits the normal genital function but not the passive mode of that function. Fixation at, this passive phallic phase shows a predisposition to a passive homosexuality. The author in speaking of the importance that movements of the body have for the unconscious, notes the identity of the erect position, learning to walk, cöordination and mastery of the movements on the one hand and the active male genital function on the other, and thinks it not impossible that the unconscious takes as model for the active phallic phase the great modification that takes place at the time the child learns to walk. The phallic phase is not to be confused with feminine passivity: it is a phase and can exist in a boy having essentially masculine attitude and behavior. Phallic passivity in the boy, at least, seems to be exclusively of an erotic nature and identical with the behavior of the other erogenous zones.

4.   Schiff, P. The Paranoias and Psychanalysis.—In the first (psychiatric) part of this article the author has tried to disengage the evolution of the ideas on delusion of interpretation and to show that even outside the psychoanalytic movement a dynamic conception of the genesis of the psychoses has led different psychiatrists to revise certain distinctions generally admitted since the works of Serieux and Capgras and Kraepelin on the “intellectual psychoses” and to bring together again different morbid states which have been dissassociated, insisting once more on the tendency of persecution common to them all. In the second (psychoanalytic) part, after having shown the rôle that is necessary to give to homosexuality in the genesis of paranoia, he has tried to show that psychoanalysis has made evident the unity of the persecution system in these different delusional states and to show that it justifies thus the work of nosographical criticism to which the paranoia of Serieux-Capgras-Kraepelin has given rise during the last twenty-five years.

5.   Friedmann, P. On Suicide.—For a long time the causes of suicide have been discussed scientifically. Theologians, judges, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, even poets and journalists have tried to penetrate this strange phenomenon. A characteristic trait of all these discussions has been to search for the causes in the external world. Cosmic and climatic conditions, constant laws, have been argued to be the determining agents. This author covers these lightly, drawing attention only to their sophistical character. He covers at more length, the belief that the causes of suicide lie in the constitution of the individual, lymphatic constitution or “thymicolymphaticus” (meaning, generally, hypertrophy

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of thymus and lymphatic apparatus, narrowness of aorta, general adiposity, hypertrophy of the brain) and the psychiatric beliefs (1) pathological act (2) Delmas’ conception that the causes lie in cyclothymia and hyperemotionalism. While acknowledging the existence of the constitutional element, Friedmann says that the theory of Delmas is too hypothetical and arbitrary and he remarks that the emotional and psychic life of an individual is not a finished product at birth but has an onto-genetic development; and he considers that the theory, which says that the psychic life of an individual is a fatal consequent of somatic-physiological events, is only another expression of ancient fatalistic thought. All these theories that seek the causes in exterior factors, he sees as rationalization of profound resistance to understanding the problem objectively and discovering the true causes. He does not discuss at length the sociological conception of the problem, remarking simply that the first source of error in this conception is not as at first thought in its base of statistical facts of contestable origin but rather in fact of collective than individual approach. He remarks also that the sociological view can be better defended psychologically than the bio-psychological hypotheses. In 1910 Stekel, who at that time still belonged to the psychoanalytical circle of Vienna, declared that no one ever kills himself who does not first desire to kill (or at least wish the death of) someone else. Freud reserved his opinion, searching always to learn how victory over the powerful instinct of self preservation comes about, whether it is produced thanks to a deception of the libido or whether the ego gives up affirming itself for unique personal reasons. In his work “Mourning and Melancholy” Freud made a profound study of the emotional phenomena of melancholy and sadness and comes to these conclusions: The ego introjects into itself the hostility felt against the love object and then treating itself as love object turns against itself the hostility felt against the love object. This explains the overcoming of self preservation and the mechanism of suicide. In the Ego and the Id Freud referring to sadism says that the less aggressive a man becomes toward his environment, the more severe he becomes in his super-ego—the more he masters his aggression the more his super-ego becomes severe toward his ego. Thus in melancholy, the ego sacrifices itself because it feels hated and persecuted instead of loved by the super-ego. To live for the ego means to be loved by the super-ego (father). Thus we can give a better founded motive for suicide. Psychoanalytic experience has taught us that the aggression instinct will not be suppressed; it must manifest itself; also, that when an instinct searches satisfaction in an object and the object is withdrawn the instinct is transformed into a narcissistic instinct. Thus instinct of aggression not being able to find satisfaction in environment (laws of society and super-ego domination) turns on the ego and augments the accumulated masochism there present. The tension between super-ego and ego produces great need for punishment and leads to suicide. Thus it is apparent that Stekel was right in

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his contention and the author sketches case histories to show criminal tendency transformed into suicide. The fact that suicide is rare among primitive man and prevalent among civilized people is also understood. Primitive man knows little restriction of his instincts and his personality is not as yet clearly differentiated. Civilization is built on restriction of the instincts.

(Vol. VIII, No. 2)

1.   Leuba, J. Hermes or Aphrodite?: the Biological Side of the Problem.

2.   Bonaparte, Marie. Passivity, Masochism and Femininity.

3.   Laforgue, R. A Propos of Frigidity in Woman.

4.   Hitschmann, and Bergler, E. Frigidity in Woman.

5.   Hesnard, A. False Frigidity by Repression of the Normal Erotic Activity.

1.   Leuba, J. Hermes or Aphrodite?—There is certainly a biological side to the question of the neuroses. All psychoanalysts are conscious of this and in the case of therapeutic failure are likely to say, “there is here an irreducible constitutional factor.” This Number 2 of Vol. 8 is devoted to feminine frigidity. Now frigidity in woman as well as impotency in man are closely related to homosexual tendencies, meaning by homosexual tendencies not necessarily overt erotic homosexual activities but simply the attraction of man and woman for members of their own sex. The presence of these tendencies or the degree to which they are present does not seem to be related to the presence of hermaphroditic physical factors, so that it is not correct to say of a patient with homosexual tendencies it is the fault of the physical constitution. Sexual polarity is a biological fact, however. Every woman can say “the man I take pleasure in being” and man “the blond girl who is in me.” The biological facts upon which the bipolarity is based are of two kinds; embryological, the genital gland in the first embryological stages is not differentiated, the clitoris and penis have the same origin, until the third month of the embryonic life it is impossible to distinguish the sex; hormonal, complex problem but it is supposed without definite proof, however, that the psychic tendencies to virility are very often conditioned by a physicochemical male tonus, due to masculinizing hormones. These actions are independent of physical aspect because we see the complex of virility developed to a high degree in very feminine appearing women and vice versa. There is then a physical intersexuality (genetic and hormonal) superimposed or not to a psychic intersexuality. This last is manifested by masculine impotency and feminine frigidity and homosexuality in all its degrees paired one with the other.

2.   Bonaparte, Marie. Passivity, Masochism and Femininity. On one side, in the matter of the reproductive functions i.e., menstruation, defloration, pregnancy, confinement, woman is dedicated biologically to

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suffering; on the other, in the matter of attraction for the sexual partner, necessary to fertile intercourse, the woman is the equal of the man, although often her erotic function is established badly and late and depends always, it must not be forgotten considering the passive rôle of woman in intercourse, on the virile potency of the partner, on the time, in particular, which the latter accords to feminine pleasure (in general slower than his) to expand. The infantile conception of intercourse is that it is a sadistic aggression by the male on the female. The type of this aggression i.e., oral, anal, or vaginal, quality and quantity of aggression depend upon the child's constitution, the phase he was in at the time he observed parental intercourse or whether conception is based on phylogenetic fantasy. This conception rests at base of child's unconscious and it is resumed and worked over as he develops and evolves sexually. The boy, thanks to love for mother, can easily learn to distinguish between sadism and activity but the sadistic conception of intercourse is much more likely to influence the little girl's psychosexual development, because of her castrated condition, and fear of penetration. And despite libidinal instinct which pushes her on the one hand toward intercourse, we see her often drawing away from it, the only function in the whole process of reproduction from which she actually can derive pleasure. There are two ways in which the grown woman can react to this sadistic conception of intercourse. She can accept it—erotic masochistic attitude, which does not mean she accepts masochistic erotization of vagina, necessarily; she may become masochistic pervert or, by education she learns a penetrating penis is not the thing she feared. In order that the passive feminine erotic function can be accepted and established woman must make a real distinction between masochism and passivity. According to Marañon, woman is a man arrested in evolution, a kind of adolescent to which are joined in a sort of symbiosis, the maternal annexes inhibiting her evolution. Her sexual organs seem to be a reflection of this bisexuality; she has a vagina and a clitoris, a kind of atrophied penis. Now the phallic phase of development is accompanied in the girl by a clitoridean masturbation and if the fear of aggression by the male is too strong or the masochism realized too powerful, in accepting it the ego of the girl recoils and her libido holds fast to the clitoris. But this libido orientation is masculine and its presence in a woman makes one suspect a strong constitutional virility. The vital and virile rejection of passivity more or less markedly confused with masochism here coincide; moral repression coming from educators and upheld by super-ego hits feminine sexuality en bloc and tends to engender total frigidity. Normally the clitoris after the phallic phase of activity, should become passive, and the little girl led by her biological castration and oriented toward the father should manifest her libido in passive objectives. The ideal biological adaptation of the feminine erotic function is the functional suppression of the clitoris, active or even passive, to the benefit of the passive vagina.

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3.   Laforgue, R. Frigidity in Woman.—All neurotic psychic conflicts, all social censure ending in the repression of sexuality and its regression to an infantile stage are susceptible of reverberating to different degrees on the function of the orgasm. It can be said without fear of exaggeration that this function is troubled in all neuroses. It is difficult to say at what moment and with what intensity this trouble is translated in the woman by sexual frigidity. When frigidity exists during masturbation as well as during normal sexual intercourse it is called total frigidity; it is translated by a complete insensibility of the woman during the sexual act. If this insensibility is only limited to normal sexual acts and is not present during masturbation it is called partial frigidity. When it is manifested only in respect to certain persons, i.e., husband, and not in others, i.e., illegitimate conditions, or again in respect to persons one loves and admires and not with inferior persons one despises, it is called elective. When it is expressed by a capricious sensibility ending in incomplete orgasm it can be called, after Hesnard, false frigidity. In practice there are three kinds of frigid women (1) women suffering with a neurosis of more or less apparent and dramatic character, (2) women with no apparent neurotic symptoms but who complain of frigidity, (3) women who ignore their frigidity; they can ignore their neurosis or for social reasons, the existence even of the orgasm. It would seem that each type of neurosis corresponds to a certain form of frigidity but it can not be said for sure. However, this author is of the impression that total frigidity is rare in the obsessional neurosis. Obsessionals are, in general, clitorideans, reach orgasm through personal or mutual masturbation. Homosexuality is very pronounced in this neurosis and often orgasm is reached by means of homosexual representation. Hence, we see here partial frigidity or in some cases elective frigidity—man must respond to certain physical and psychic conditions i.e., must be younger or blond, puerile, inferior social position, effeminate or possessing a moral or physical blemish. Common to all the latter is the fact woman feels superior to man, and psychoanalysis has shown that ordinarily in such cases man is simply a substitute for woman. In some cases of partial frigidity woman reaches orgasm by means of phantasies of determined character i.e., imagined whipping of herself or boy, or sees herself in prison with malefactor who abuses her, again often scenes of accident, violent death, even murder. In the case of total frigidity, woman often feels needs of violent painful sensation, is operated, aborted. This type is found more in anxiety neurosis than obsessional; delicate, pale, diaphanous women, of few words or movement, seemingly made of porcelain. Some of these become drug fiends. In the cases of frigidity without apparent neurotic symptoms are to be numbered many conjugal misfortunes. The origin of a number of familial neurotic symptoms are to be found in frigidity. As noted above, inferior man, man with physical or moral blemish is obsessional choice for husband with ensuing consequences—

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bad milieu for children. If husband tries to be energetic, reforms, upsets the apple cart—wife's frigidity, hence inhibitions and suppressions, react on children's psychosexual development. Sometimes in case of sick husband requiring much maternal care (provided he remains sick) an equilibrium is established. Often a painter, writer or scientist is formed. Sometimes sexual frigidity of woman is necessary for certain men to overcome their sense of guilt and establish home and career. In some cases sexual frigidity is favorable to intellectual sublimation i.e., doctors, lawyers, chemists, etc. The family neurosis may take other forms, i.e., woman plays rôle of victim, pushes her daughter to prostitution, sons to ruin, so that she may be exploited. Again emotion of frigid woman may be satisfied by means of organic illness. This opposition of women to sexuality may be the consequence of fear of death.

4.   Hitschmann and Bergler, E. Frigidity in Woman. In English, Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company. Monograph No. 60.

5.   Hesnard, A. False Frigidity.—Among the women who are called frigid, there are a certain number that Hesnard classifies under the head of “False frigidity, by the repression of the normal erotic activity.” Women coming under this head may be the victims of various neuropathic suppressions but these suppressions are not of sufficient intensity or quality to suppress, at least primitively, the tendency toward allo-erotic orgasm. These women add to the repression of certain erotic tendencies, more or less accessory and dissimulated when they exist, the process of repression, i.e., the conscious and at least partially voluntary refusal of the allo-erotic tendencies of normal object and aim. In doing this they support and aggravate their neurosis, in certain cases even bringing it to light when before it was latent and this with the best faith in the world. There are two classes: (1) Real neuropaths whose neurosis has not abolished the orgastic capacity (2) Not primitively neuropaths, persons in whom the hostility toward the pleasure of sex is inspired by diverse motives, principally by motives of excessive or deviated morality, often of religious character. This secondary repression of which progressively acquired frigidity gives witness, differs from the primary repressions which activate true frigidity and neurotic symptoms in that it affects the elements of normal erotic activity which are developed functionally and could be realized fully, but which under the accumulated influence of inhibitions more or less clearly conscious and intentional have been pushed, the same as tendencies remaining infantile, out of consciousness. But this disappearance does not seem to procure for them the power that the latter possess of exercising a powerful pathogenic and anonymous influence of the personality. Apparently normal development before suppression dispenses with appearance of psychogenic symptoms. Primary suppression acts on tendencies which

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are more or less completely ignored by the individual, and its consequence is generally to prevent development of aptitude for orgasm in the habitual conditions of vaginal penetration. Secondary repression leads to deterioration of the function by pure and simple decapitation without return to infantile or perverse erotism. It is found in women frankly and exclusively oriented toward man and preferring to all other genital satisfaction the voluptuous relaxation (considered guilty but appealing) of the penetrating act. The picture of false frigidity is: on the physical plane, genital need awakened by the contact of man, experience acquired of normal pleasure in coitus; on the psychic plane, normal capacity of loving and being loved, of fixing electively on a given man and yet fear and condemnation (diversely motivated) of normal sexual pleasure. The sense of guilt in these cases of false frigidity is conscious and accepted, not unconscious and (as often happens) eroticized as in true frigidity. It is the motive accepted by the individual to activate anti-erotic struggle. The normal orgasm is not felt as guilty on an infantile but on adult level. Integral chastity in false frigidity has nothing in common with its equivalent in the woman with neurosis of sexual impotence. A human being, especially a woman, can remain perfectly sane from a psychic and nervous point of view if, not having suffered from powerful infantile conflicts, then submitting to a strict sexual hygiene she remains resolutely and integrally chaste. Solitary chastity may escape neurotic reaction but if said woman is cohabiting with a man she will sooner or later suffer from the consequences of inevitable disproportion between preliminary sexual excitation (accumulative process of psycho-physiological order resists all voluntary inhibition) and final differentiated pleasure, adulterated or suppressed, and will present symptoms of anxiety. It would be difficult to affirm that these syndomes of anxiety neurosis carry as far even as their symptom formation the mark of their specific etiology (flight in great part voluntary from the joy of coitus and particularly its final ecstasy) but it would seem so from the great majority of cases. The symptoms are largely: somatic anxiety, crises of anxiety binding themselves together in time into a permanent state of anxiety having same fundamental emotional as paroxysm anxiety, fear of death, especially sudden death, phobia of isolation and solitude, afraid of fainting, of feeling their heart stop, of breath stopping, of falling inanimate. Physical symptoms: painful muscular tension with tendency to horripilation, symptoms of a gastro-intestinal order, also uterine-ovarian pain, vaginal and vesical spasms. Simply redressing the practice of sexual hygiene can make certain neuroses of a serious allure disappear. Every time there appears in analysis or during simple clinical examination this very important etiological factor of a conscious and intentional hostility to normal sexual pleasure, it is important to reeducate patient.

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(Vol. VIII, No. 3)

1.   Laforgue, R. Psychoanalytic Clinic.

2.   De Saussure, E. Reactionary Traits of Character and Their Importance.

3.   Freud, Sigmund. A Connection Between a Symbol and a Symptom.

4.   Crespo, Pizarro. The Rôle of the Psychic Factors in the Clinical Domain.

5.   Servadio, Emilio. The Wand of the Magicians.

1.   Laforgue, R. Psychoanalytic Clinic. This is a series of lectures given by Laforgue at the Institute of Psychoanalysis at Paris 1935 and recently translated into English. (Int. Psa. Press, London, 1937).

2.   DeSaussure, R. Reactionary Traits of Character and Their Importance in Psychoanalysis. Freud found early in his studies leading to the evolution of the psychoanalytic method of treatment that it was necessary to attack the repressing forces before uncovering the repressed material; that one should be active in attacking resistance. Now there are three kinds of resistances: (1) resistance against a precise memory, dream or sentiment of which patient is conscious but does not wish to acknowledge, (2) resistance due to positive or negative transfer and (3) resistances of character. It is this last type of resistance that this article is about. There seems to be four general ways in which patients react to interpretations of analyst: (1) passively; talking about something else, (2) appear susceptible, (3) are ironic or aggressive or (4) acquiesce and dissimulate doubts. In his study of these reactionary characteristics DeSaussure begins by defining character as the ensemble of an individual's endeavors to adapt his interior needs to exterior world. The constitution is the ensemble of the needs determined by one's physiological complexion. “All habits of reaction which adapt our interior needs happily to exterior world are normal. The reactionary character trait is a characteristic reaction which instead of being determined by the aim to be achieved is an emotional reaction to a conflict. The persons who react with scorn, susceptibility, aggression, etc., are the persons who present reactionary character traits.” The child adapts to the exterior world in two ways (1) conduct and vision of reality imposed by parent's authority (2) own direct contact. From this develop two forms of conduct, he acts to win esteem and affection, acts in function of goal he proposes. He chooses his conduct as a function of love and fear he has of another; he chooses it as a function of success or failures. In the first case he acquires no personal knowledge of the exterior world; he does not experience happiness except as a function of the consent of others; his happiness depends on others and not on self; he does not acquire the sentiment of being adult, nor a creator, nor an equal. He feels very inferior, does not evolve and constantly seeks the

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approval of others. In the second case he acquires a personal experience which determines more and more his future conduct as a function of reality. His happiness depends on the goal achieved; it is not narcissistic but depends on satisfaction as a function of reality. It is a function of a more and more enlarged knowledge of exterior world. This gives assurance and decision, judgment formed by own experience not that of others, feeling of equality, not afraid of other's disapproval. The author now discusses in detail the objective behavior of these groups. There are many important factors in the problem of obedience for the small child, i.e., all powerfulness, goodness, omniscience with which child endows adults, defects of character of parents, conflict for child represented by need to submit to adult, punishment inflicted. All children have two fundamental needs, to love and to be loved. Each order, each punishment coming from adult appears to child as a retraction of love and instils nostalgia for lost affection. The more the parent punishes the stronger becomes this nostalgia and an accompanying unconscious hostility. This ambivalent attitude causes fixations, and there ensues a lack of frankness, a passivity in love, thus is established a vicious circle, the more the severity, the more nostalgic for affection; the more the child has need of love, the less he dares love spontaneously; the less he loves spontaneously, the less affection he receives, consequently the more need he has of affection. The influence of this severity, of course, is different, depending on vitality of child or facility of parents to pardon after punishment, on justice and normalcy of parents, on whether there is preferred brother or sister etc., etc. From this it can be seen the four types of reactionary characteristics posited by the author arise from the way the child reacts to the loss of affection. They are very important to the analyst because they are defenses against the acceptation of a gap; they refer to early childhood; they represent a refusal to give oneself to outside world before being satisfied in nostalgia for affection. They are a check from the point of view of adaptation. The author considers the need to be loved and the reaction of individual to ensuing problem as important as erogenous zones in development of character.

3.   Freud, Sigmund. A Connection Between a Symbol and a Symptom.—See Collected Papers, Vol. II.

4.   Crespo, Pizarro. The Rôle of the Psychic Factors in Clinical Medicine. In the treatment of this vast subject the author limits himself to two principal themes: (1) The general specific principles which are the foundation of medical activity and the methodological bases upon which every clinical consideration should be based. (2) Shows synthetically as possible the general types of somatic reactions to the psychic influences illustrating this part with clinical cases and showing the conclusions that can be deduced. It is not only on neuropsychiatric conditions that one can observe psychosomatic correlations but in almost all

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the phenomena of general pathology and in so-called organic disease the correlations are becoming obvious. Many doctors and frequently even psychopathologists include à priori under the name hysteria, a multitude of functional and organic troubles whose psychogenetic determination, not properly hysterical, is easily brought to light by a little deeper investigation. It is an error, extending to almost all pathology to believe that the exogenous influence (trauma, bacillus, toxin) is all. The individual, or ground, which makes, properly speaking, the illness remains entirely misunderstood. There does not exist any organic perturbation which has not its psychic component (either as influence on general vegetative equilibrium or cenesthetic tonus, or as conscious feeling of illness); while there do exist certain cases of psychic perturbations which are not accompanied by any physiological anamoly. “It is necessary to distinguish the illness from the lesion.” This is of great importance to the clinician because then he tends to treat the patient and not the illness. “The patient suffers from what he feels and not from what affects the organs.” The morphogenetic and pathoplastic influence of the psychism is truly unsuspected and has unhoped for surprises if care is taken to search for the repercussions by methods definitely affirmed since the work of Freud. Medicine as a science commences with its object. The object of medicine is the human individual, sick or well, as a morphological and functional unity, as an ensemble of organs or anatomical structures subordinated to a whole, and as an active psychosomatic unity with its own finalities to satisfy. (a) As an ensemble of organs, the human being permits the isolated study of different parts or apparatuses which constitute him but without losing from view the coördination and dynamic subordination of each of them to the whole which unites them, (b) As a psychosomatic functional unity the human being presents himself in perpetual evolution, in perpetual contradiction with himself; his necessities and his ends are superdetermined by the combination of innumerable biologic conditions, cosmic and especially social in which the individual finds himself permanently.

5.   Servadio, Emilio. The Wand of the Magicians.—After the many studies made on rhabdomancy, there is now little serious doubt but that there exist persons who can perceive occasionally the subterrean existence of sheets of water or veins of metal. Different interpretations of this phenomenon have been given. The author of this article considers most convincing the one that recognizes in the conscious disposition of the magician, a condition for the unloosening of certain faculties of paranormal knowledge whose mechanism remains totally unconscious, unloosening which is also conditioned if not by radiations (still very uncertain) at least by the real presence of objects to which these faculties are directly or indirectly applied. After covering in history the principal antecedents of the rhabdomantic wand and mentioning its original phallic nature, after describing its appearance, the author concludes it is a substitute

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for the penis and its movement equals erection. He then by quotations from different books on the subject shows that the physiological state of the rhabdomancer while he is exercising his faculty is the same as sexual excitation. He thinks it would be desirable to psychoanalyze several rhabdomancers to the end of obtaining confirmation or rectifications of this idea. In answer to the question why does the rhabdomancer feel sexual excitation which is manifested by a symbolic erection when he perceives the presence of water or minerals beneath the earth, the author formulates this thought, which he hesitates to call an hypothesis. The attitude of the rhabdomancer renews an infantile situation of attachment to the mother, beginning in the anal phase and continuing into the phallic phase. The excitation, whatever its paths, springs from the attraction of the maternal body, symbolized by the earth and its contents. The real physiological reaction, phallic following the symbolic equivalence, is manifested among other things by aggressive impulses of penetration and knowledge (to know equals to have sexually). Thus the rhabdomancer tends in his unconscious to a penetration of and return to the mother's womb, tendency of which psychoanalysis has given many equivalents and examples.

(Vol. VIII, No. 4)

1.   Loewenstein, R. Psychoanalysis of Troubles of Sexual Potency.

2.   Parcheminey, G. Clinical Exposition of a Case of Impotence.

3.   Odier, Charles. Catamnestic Document on a Case of Orgastic Impotence.

1.   Loewenstein, R. Psychoanalysis of Troubles of Sexual Potency.—The troubles of Sexual Potency of man merit to be accorded the greatest attention. The consequences of these troubles on the subject who suffers from them are often most serious as much from the point of view of general psychological state as from that of their social repercussions. The doctor and the moralist will find often, if they search, in a complete or partial impotency the point of departure of many pathological, or simply distressing, facts. The causes of these troubles are of three kinds, biological, psychological, social. In this article, the author has attempted to resume the results of psychoanalytic treatment of men suffering from these troubles; a part of the problem only but which because of the practical results resulting from it, is for the moment the most important to know.

Chapter I. A—Classification of the Troubles of Potency.

I.   Troubles of Erection. (a) of excess priapism (satyriasis or hyper-erotism (Hesnard); (b) of default; virile impotency—absence of erection at moment of intercourse or fall of erection before intromission; can be passing or accidental, relative or partial, elective, prolonged or permanent.

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II.  Troubles of Ejaculation. (a) Deficient or retarded ejaculation; (b) Involuntary spermatorrhea, characterized by emissions of sperm outside of any sexual act and without erection, marked trouble of ejaculatory reflex: absence of ejaculatory thrusts (asthenic ejaculation) not to be confused with nocturnal emissions; (c) Precocious or brief ejaculation, characterized by premature appearance of reflex leading to emission of sperm; ante portas ejaculation accompanied with asthenic ejaculation, not by jerks, on a par with incomplete erection.

III. Troubles of the Orgasm. They accompany habitually all kinds of precocious ejaculation. But they can exist independently and can be manifested uniquely by an absence or subjective diminution of the satisfaction characteristic of a normal orgasm. They can be manifested by the absence of phenomena of pscho-physiological relaxing which usually accompany orgasm, by the presence of nervousness, irritability.

IV.  Troubles of Genital Desire. (1) By excess, (2) By default, (3) Qualitative, elective.

All the authors who have studied genital impotency are in accord that it is not a nosological entity but a symptom or a syndrome coming from diverse etiologies such as lesions and affections of central nervous system, diabetes, intoxications, deficiency of general state (convalescence), malformations or lesions of genital-urinal organs, lesions and dysfunctions of endocrine glands, troubles of neural-vegetative system, neurotic troubles of genital potency—emotional or psychic impotency, most frequent trouble of genital potency, found especially in men presenting at same time diverse neurotic troubles, obsession, phobia.

The author then discusses these various modifications.

2.   Parcheminey, G. Case of Impotence.—Parcheminey analyzes the case as follows: Impossibility of normal sexual evolution to Œdipus stage. Phallic activity is forbidden (castration, operation), regression to anterior stage. Anal sadistic activity is possible; fixation at this stage, in part from enemas given by mother. The two corporal elements, operation and enemas operate on two stages, one as inhibitor, other as element of fixation. He indicates the biological factor; arrest of all sexual activity during adolescence and whole period of maturity. In the hope of treating this aspect he tried different medications among which was extract of anterior lobe of hypophysis; no result. He thinks these aphrodisiac medications fail because they provoke only an excitation of medullary centers of erection, and psychic inhibition extends to whole sensory preparatory plan, seeing, touching, etc. To remark also, value of psychoanalytic treatment since its result was beneficial while all other therapies undertaken previously had had negative results.

3.   Odier, Charles. Orgastic Impotence.—Considerations on the relations of that impotence to the character and on the psychoanalytic transfer. Odier reported the case of Jean, an anxious cyclothmyic under the title of “a Neurotic without an Œdipus complex.” Jean in infancy

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had suffered from a recto-anal affection and had been violently traumatized by a series of abusive enemas given to him by an old nurse who had had sole charge of him during most of his infancy and youth. His analysis had lasted three years and had stopped then, without being finished, because it was necessary for him to return to his own home. This happened four years ago. Recently the author has received detailed news of Jean and considering that post-analytic information is of inestimable value he has given this report. A few months before the end of his analysis, Jean fell in love with a young girl, from all descriptions charming and quite normal. Monsieur Odier was delighted but in view of the fact that Jean had never experienced an Œdipus complex, and considering his marked persecution complex, he, the analyst, tried to substitute himself for Jean's implacable Super-ego, tried to objectify it by disapproving, by insisting that it would be necessary for Juliette, the girl, to be analyzed. To the masochistic patient analysis was thought of in terms of aggression, thus analysis of Juliette appeared to him a violation, a defloration which was what Monsieur Odier hoped. At first Jean reacted with hostility, then by depression, accusing analyst of professional impotence, “imbecile of an Odier has not cured me; I am good for nothing,” primitive mechanism of projection. The last dream showed destruction of analyst by old nurse, which was a marked progress. Before he left Monsier Odier encouraged his marriage. Three months later, Jean appeared looking and feeling fine and announced he was to be married; defloration, which before had seemed an insupportable crime caused him no uneasiness. He had plans for entering business. Monsieur Odier, remembering final negative transference was surprised and doubted genuineness of reactions. Four years later Jean after having surmounted grave resistances began a correspondence with the author, his letters representing a prolonged combat between positive and negative elements of posthumous transfer. He was married and contrary to analyst's fear, his marriage had grown in solidity and depth. He was able to perform sexual act without fear, guilt, impotence; it was no longer sadistic act of vengeance. Juliette had suffered a miscarriage which Jean had been able to support without pathological reaction which showed marked progress since before analysis, menstruation or any gynecological accident had been a traumatizing shock. But if he had succeeded in making a real love relationship, if his marriage had relieved him of many hypochondriacal and conversional symptoms, his social relations were not as well managed. His aggression of sadistic character he turned against associates; he had become almost obsessed with aggression. His impotence now seemed transferred to social activities; he could undertake nothing. During the first year after leaving Odier things had gone pretty well but in the second year, the negative transfer became marked and aggression seemed to center on analyst. Jean considered him professionally impotent. He was full of anger against him, phantasied insults; became discouraged,

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disgusted, very passive. The following years, hatred softened; he decided to give analyst last chance and finally at beginning of fourth year writes to Monsieur Odier who interprets feeling against him as projection of Jean's own impotence in action. After the projection interpretation of analyst, Jean got a position, charged with propaganda and intellectual work, but he could write nothing, considered he might have graphic inhibition, that his inability was desire for vengeance on analyst or desire to punish both analyst and self. He seemed to have made passive fixation on his chief. Monsieur Odier in replying told him beside desire for vengeance and punishment his inability to work seemed to be of any social work implied responsibility. Jean replied and analyst interpreted that his inhibition actually related to execution of act; he could undertake many things but could finish nothing. Abandoning terminal initiative, and need of a trainer, someone to pump up his forces; these were his psychic traits of character, closely related to early relationship and conduct toward nurse. The negative and positive transfer, vengeance and then abdication and reestablishment of affectionate relations was also reliving of previous relationship with nurse. After this Jean began to work, scriptural inhibition fell and he was very successful. But in his own words, he showed a particular repugnance for work that meant a choice followed by decision. Decision and execution, says Monsieur Odier are closely akin, and he thinks in this ego trait we have a secondary trait that a long neurosis finishes sooner or later in developing. He thinks now that Jean suffers from an “analytic neurosis,” which is translated on the whole by the prevalence of real reactions and needs of the ego over those of super-ego and unconscious—Jean had defended himself against exterior world for a long time by passivity and quite naturally this attitude had stigmatized character. Monsieur Odier notes that infantile trauma arrests or regresses thought and moral development at level parallel to instinct development and it is necessary to analyze and to take account of these elements. Lately Jean writes that he has become a leader of men, an orator. In resuming, the author considers analysis of this patient did away with basal anxiety, sexual obsessions, conversion symptoms; the emotional cyclothymia was resolved; sado-masochism was reduced. Pathological super-ego was reduced; no further danger of suicide. Happy changes in character; the author considers that activity predominates over passivity. He hopes the gods may give Jean many children, which he considers would contribute much toward his complete cure.

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Article Citation

Gill, M.J. (1939). Revue Française de Psychanalyse. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):130-144

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