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(1939). Revue Fran├žaise de Psychanalyse. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(4):577-591.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française de Psychanalyse

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(4):577-591

Revue Française de Psychanalyse

(Vol. IX, No. 3)

Account of the 9th Conference of Psychoanalysts of the French Language.

1.   R. Laforgue. Family Neurosis.

2.   J. Leuba. The Neurotic Family and the Family Neuroses.

3.   Marie Bonaparte. Paleobiologic and Biopsychic Views.

4.   G. Mauco. The Psychology of the Child in its Relations with the Psychology of the Unconscious. (First Part.)

Conference of Psychoanalysts of the French language held at Nyon, Switzerland: The conference was opened by a short address of welcome by Dr. de Saussure and then followed:

1.   R. Laforgue. The Family Neurosis.—Dr. LaForgue considers the family neurosis, as yet not sufficiently recognized, one of the principal aspects of the neuroses encountered in patients. Indeed often treatment of at least one of the parents—if not two—will cure neurotic children without their having been treated themselves; children of neurotic parents are always more or less neurotic themselves and the preceding statement eliminates the possibility of heredity. From his experience he considers the neurosis represents a family tradition and thus explains many of the complex states known as character neuroses, neuroses of defeat, homosexuality, frigidity, sexual impotence, certain psychoses, notably paranoia. One should never, he says, neglect the family neurosis in searching for the origins of a neurosis. In practice there are several types of family neurosis which in different degree have the same clinical aspect and are expressed often in a similar way in the children for each type of neurosis. All these types, despite the variation of their clinical symptoms, express a more or less profound regression of sexuality and go on a par with more or less manifest sexual inversion. Neurotic persons we know marry often out of hate more than love, to destroy rather than to construct. All the misery ensuing from such a condition can pass behind the façade of an apparently perfect bourgeois family life, with the complicity of society and the doctor who until now has never dared interfere and, of course, the ordinary doctor without psychoanalytic experience cannot appreciate such cases. Children of such parents always play a complex rôle and are the worse sufferers.

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The most frequent type is represented by the inverted ménage of the good bourgeois family of M. Goinart, described by Bernstein in his book “Espoir”. Husband, good worker in subordinate position, timid, diplomatic, obsequious, never commits self, does most of housework. Wife; rigid in opinion and attitude, does not bend to anyone's hours or convenience except her own, neglects home and children, always considers herself attacked and searches for occasion of jumping on her enemy. Her principal occupation is money. She is terribly jealous, insists her husband (who would not dare) has a mistress, accuses him before friends, swears vengeance and often accomplishes it. In such cases the husband is the accomplice of the wife; if the wife changes and ceases to degrade him, he does it himself, even sometimes to dishonesty. Children of such a ménage have a most difficult time. The first person to be analyzed is the father. Without his re-establishment there is no cure for others. Another type: a successful man married to a rich heiress. The ménage is very similar to one just described except that it is not accepted by the husband with passivity but because of a “sacred duty the peace of the family must be saved at all price.” The children have a better chance and the analyst a better chance of helping children. Another variety: that in which the married persons are obliged to put a barrier between them in order to flee from sexuality and rest at an infantile level of libido. The barrier can be disputes, lawsuits, work or piety, third person in “ménage á trois”, sickness. There is a particular development of family neurosis which has its point of departure in the death of one of the parents. The children are more marked if the parent dies when children are quite young, two to six or seven, and it is more serious when the parent of same sex as child dies, especially if the loss occurs in the first stages of Œdipus complex.

LaForgue is convinced there exists a profound relationship between collective mentality and the family neurosis, following the milieu, class, collectivity, nation, and that this mentality can give its particular coloring to certain forms of family neurosis whose development it favors. He feels that in order to understand a neurosis it is necessary to take account of the milieu in which it developed, that nine times out of ten the influence of this milieu is expressed by that of the parental Super-Ego on the formation of the children's Super-Ego. The author thinks that Freud does not insist enough on the notion of the family neurosis which at its base completely springs from his conception of a Super-Ego. For if the Super-Ego is pathogenic it is expressed not only by neurotic actions in parents but also by the constitution of a neurotic Super-Ego in the children. There is, of course, always an individual element which intervenes so that each person reacts differently to the influence of a neurotic family Super-Ego but more than one has the habit of believing the author thinks the neuroses are manifestations of a collective rather than individual phenomena.

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À propos of the conception of a pre-œdipien Super-Ego (conception of Jones and Melanie Klein) the author thinks there may be such a one which in the psychic domain fulfills the function of differentiating the libidinal impulses similar to what happens in the organic domain in the foetus, i.e., in differentiation, organization, limitation of cell aptitudes. In such a case the parental Super-Ego would have only a secondary action which in the course of centuries would perhaps be derived from the primitive Super-Ego. The latter would be, in such a case, hereditary, characteristic of the species. The parental Super-Ego, on the contrary, would be acquired by the species and the individuals. The primitive Super-Ego would play a part in the elaboration of hereditary neuroses and psychoses while the parental Super-Ego would be the vehicle of an acquired neurosis. At this present time it is difficult to distinguish between the two forms of Super-Ego. Practically, they are superimposed on each other in their action and are expressed by this fact by the complex family neuroses, expressions of parental Super-Ego tendencies. LaForgue closes on this note. The family neurosis is a real social plague, a sort of monstrous and malignant tumor which destroys the sap which nourishes society. A great many persons break themselves in useless suffering and yet this sterile suffering is not always necessary for the delivery of the life of tomorrow. The task ahead of us is immense and we are badly armed to accomplish it. Our action should be at the same time medical and social; medical for our patients and social for the training of educators and pedagogues. We should appeal to all the men of good will, despising none regardless of how humble. Psychoanalysis should not be the monopoly of the doctors; experience has shown that the best doctors of the soul are not always those who carry the title.

2.   J. Leuba. The Neurotic Family and the Family Neuroses.—Dr. Leuba heads this article with two quotations, the first, “The family is a company of persons who detest each other and who are obliged to live together” from the movie version of “Carrot-top”; and the second, “Children have no more formidable enemies than their parents” from a diversion which he made instead of a dissertation more than five years ago for the French doctorat. He says he thinks the title of this article has one word too much and that he should announce instead, like a master of ceremonies, simply. “Gentlemen, the family.” All families, he says are neurotic by definition, by construction and by destination, since the “normal” individual is a pure fiction and a family an aggregate of neurotic individuals who are neurotic because of the conditions of the family education. The more one penetrates into the knowledge of individual psychic mechanisms the more is this true in practice since one discovers in persons commonly held perfectly normal (normal, meaning apparently adapted in a more or less durable way to a given social situation) mechanisms properly called neurotic. What does one mean

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by the neurotic family and the family neurosis? It is a new subject, the author says, and the necessary facts are not yet available for a dissertation on it as there are for obsessional or anxiety neuroses. Lacking a precise definition, he calls a family neurosis, a family situation characterized by the induction of a neurosis of the parents on the descendants, and a neurotic family, that in which all the members carry the echo of the parental neurosis.

It is difficult to show a definite morbid entity that one can properly call a family neurosis but if one absolutely insists one can show family syndromes susceptible of constituting particular types of neurosis, ex., frigid woman in revolt against man; weak husbands who in spells of vehement anger dissimulate their castration complex, children of this union all properly castrated; a woman with an obsession has a good chance of making all children obsessionals. In practice, however, each individual reacts to a neurosis of those around him according to his own neurosis; the interactions of the ensemble generally intervene only quantitatively in the individual reaction. Beginning at the beginning, then, Leuba by taking examples from his immediate circle tries to show what the family neurosis is. Several cases are given in detail. Some families are like individuals; in the social sense they are not neurotic in that they seem well adapted to society, but in the medical sense they are neurotic families. And besides often in a family apparently free from conflict a latent neurosis will break out on the occasion of a particular happening. The family neurosis can be transmitted from one generation to another by the neurotic ascendance and descendance of an obsessional neurotic woman, by a woman with a virility complex. The family and social toxicity of these women lies especially in their hatred of men.

It is impossible to show neurotic heredity; it can only be inferred. The fecundity of the human species is too feeble to permit the study of heredity. From now on, says Leuba, “we should limit ourselves to saying entirely in a theoretical way, only that which is strictly necessary to show that we do not neglect this side of the question.” Certain psychoses seem to be transmitted either as a dominant character or as a recessive character. In the first case, they can be transmitted to all or part of descendants; they can rest in latent state during two or three generations or longer and reappear on the occasion of marriage between individuals carrying the same recessive gene. Neuroses can be transmitted in same way. But while admitting these possibilities, Leuba prefers to hold himself to tangible mechanisms that phychoanalysis has revealed and to regard neurotic families as the product of a neurotic education. Family neuroses can also be conditioned by a situation where a severe and distant father breaks with the superior and tyrannical effacing and whimpering wife. The position of the children in such a ménage is always untenable and ends in their becoming homosexual with their aggression more or less incarcerated, often with a complete

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œdipus situation. It is not necessary that the father be a fanatic. If he makes an almost divine idea of the gravity of life, if his conformity stifles the children, kills all their spontaneity, the children, the sons will all be castrated in different degrees. Cases are cited in detail. One aspect of the neurosis produced in reaction against a severe father, i.e., the remarkable constancy of homosexuality either entirely repressed or manifest of the descendants, should be remarked. In the boy it is generally expressed by sexual impotence, in the girl by revolt and desire for revenge against the father. To return to the first premises. If the family neurosis is quite simply the neuroses, what can be said of its causes? They are exactly those which engender individual neuroses, the latter being a function of the family and social milieux. It is impossible to make the synthesis, at least for the moment; impossible to embrace all types. One can understand all the neuroses in a single concept by saying: there are not individual neuroses, there are only family neuroses. It is, besides, entirely improper to say the neurotic family. It is more just to say, the neurotic families because there are as many neuroses as there are families. It is then difficult to show the general mechanisms which can perpetrate from generation to generation, conflicts fomentors of neuroses in individuals. These collective mechanisms are confused with those already known; those that cause individual neuroses.

Leuba considers that the family neuroses vary according to the dominant faith, i.e., Catholic, Protestant, Jewish. To say that the form of neurosis has nothing to do with religion; that the mechanisms which engender the neuroses are identical and the same causes produce the same effects regardless of religion, he thinks is naive. It only takes account of the mechanisms and neglects the content. He feels the variations in the neuroses can be explained by examining the faiths. In Catholicism, God, the father, is almost non-existent. It is the son who is nearer and more fraternal, and mother that are loved. This allows the girl to sublimate her Œdipus complex in part in an adoration of Christ, while the boy can sublimate his incestuous attachment to mother in the love of Virgin. Hierarchy of sin and sanctions and ensuing retributive justice keeps the person at an infantile level of moral realism. The confessional prevents the accumulation of guilt; Catholics lie more frankly and knowingly when they lie while the Protestant lies from ignorance of his own motives. Protestants do not enjoy the privileges of confession, hierarchy of sin and sanction; for him there is only SIN; guilt is accumulative, hence he is obliged to deify repression which develops his masochism to high degree. His repression of aggression results in obsessive thought, inability to confess sincerely, even to himself. He is hermetic and Pharisaical in his sinning. His inexhaustible sentiment of guilt makes him spread himself in multiple altruistic activities. After his experience, Leuba says he finds that Protestant

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neuroses are characterized by obsessional structure and that this structure is characteristic of the Protestant attitude in general. In the Jew, because of ritual circumscision, castration is particularly grave. Age long persecution has given the feeling of inferiority a particular coloring of anxiety. The Jewish father is generally severe, the mother tender and demonstrative which explains the great frequency of potency troubles among Jews and the difficulty in getting them to give up their castration complex. Their aggression is above all turned on themselves, ex., Jewish jokes, Charlie Chaplin films. Leuba considers the form of faith confers a particular coloring to the neuroses (considered not in themselves but in the social frame in which they are engendered), and that this coloring is due not to religions themselves but to social attitudes that are called Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, etc. It will take centuries to modify the relations between parents and children. For the present the educators, instructors of children must be educated by books, lectures, public action; efforts with doctors must be multiplied.

In conclusion: The theme of this conference was chosen, Leuba says, in order to draw the attention of their colleagues and the public to the means of remedying the misfortunes and suffering which are in part avoidable. In the future, he says he believes psychoanalysts will have a more synthetic view, a more rapid comprehension of the situation, thus treatment can be begun with more security, with a clearer notion of the points to be attacked first and of those that should be left in shadow momentarily. Although the actual tendency is to think that the neurosis is inherent to our mode of social life, and that consequently it cannot be avoided, it is certain that there are degrees of harm and there is an advantage in finding the least harmful. “It is for us to modify what can be modified … by instruction and therapy.”

3.   Bonaparte, Marie. Paleobiologic and Biopsychic Views.—Madame Bonaparte attributes the biologic fear of the individual to penetration to something anterior to and independent of the Super-Ego. All living organisms from the lowest microbe to the mammal recoil before anything that threatens to break into their interior. The primitive acts in view of reproduction must have been biologically felt as a kind of narcissistic wound. The antagonism between individual and species perpetuation was already in action at these paleobiologic stages. Actually two dangers threatened the cell as the evil result of reproduction; first at the time of conjugation, a breaking into the interior of another living active substance not capable of assimilation by digestive juices and thus rendered inoffensive; second, at moment of scission, crumbling of substance which if continued might lead to extinction. These two dangers were biologically perceived by living matter and have been transmitted all along the phylum of living things up to man, they constitute the most primitive roots of the complex of perforation in woman; castration complex in man. The fear of perforation is more general in mammals than

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the castration complex. Considering the female role in production this is understandable.

If anxiety before perforation in the female seems actually well founded, then all anxiety, when all is said and done, must also in its time have really been well founded. To anxiety of the ego before the id instincts, which threaten to destroy it, Bonaparte adds her paleobiological view and relates the latter to Bleuler's view of the human fear of sexuality. By division (male), by perforation (female), peace is destroyed and the integrity of the ego is threatened. And even libidinal erotism does not make the operation always acceptable. It is to the volume of our brain that we owe, undoubtedly, the greatness of our anxiety, incommensurable to that of most other animals. Child, woman, man must, thanks to brain, feel the danger, for biological ego, that call of the species is for the individual.

4.   Mauco, G. The Psychology of the Child in its Relations with the Psychology of the Unconscious (First Part).—Abstracted in toto in No. 4. See later. No. 4.

(Vol. IX, No. 4)

1.   The Ceremony of Psychoanalytic Society at the Sorbonne.

2.   Bonaparte, Marie. The Range of Freud's Work.

3.   Pichon, ED. From Freud to Dalbiez.

4.   Schlumberger, M. On the Cure of a Case of Impotence.

5.   Brunswick, Ruth Mack. Supplement to the “History of an Infantile Neurosis” of Freud.

6.   Mauco, G. The Psychology of the Child in its Relations with the Psychology of the Unconscious. (Second Part)

1.   On the sixth of May, 1934, the 80th birthday of Sigmund Freud was celebrated at the Sorbonne, in the Richelieu Ampitheatre. Various members of the Psychoanalytic Society of Paris spoke briefly of the work of Freud from personal, therapeutic, clinical viewpoints, noting also the influence of the French school on the work of Freud. Madame Bonaparte in an address showed the range of his work.

2.   Bonaparte, Marie. The Range of Freud's Work.

I.   Psychoanalysis, Therapy.

(a)  The origin of psychoanalysis.

(b)  The psychoanalytic method.

(c)  Repression, sublimation, the neuroses and the method of curing.

(d)  Analysis of dreams.

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II.  Psychoanalysis; Prophylaxis.

(a)  Infantile sexuality.

(b)  œdipus complex.

(c)  Infantile sexual investigation.

III. Psychoanalysis, Science. Conclusion.

Closely following this outline, Madame Bonaparte, in her charming fashion, gives a brief general idea of Freudian principles. She closes with the plea to leave psychoanalysis in peace. It is not a frivolous subject for the drawing room but a grave object of science. “Who would dream of treating the gynecological miseries of women at a tea? One should have the same respect for the miseries of the soul.” Two contradictory objections are often made to psychoanalysis, she says. 1. Persons accuse it of trying to unchain the instincts; Moral and social danger. 2. Persons accuse it of trying to take away all emotional impulses; Loss of joy of living. But the first is not possible. The instincts are too strong and secondly there is no danger since when psychoanalysis lifts the repression, it is to submit the instinct immediately to the control of reality and reason. A harmony, taking account of acceptable exigencies and supportable restrictions of morals must be established in each individual in order that he can live for himself as well as others; in brief, be a human at the same time vitally and socially adapted. Neurotic opposes this adaptation and every neurotic that psychoanalysis cures is one more worker given to civilization, to society, a man who free of his conflicts, of his shackles, has acquired the possibility of work and happiness.

3.   Pichon, Ed. From Freud to Dalbiez.—Review of “La Methode Psychoanalytic et la Doctrine Freudienne.”—Roland Dalbiez. Reviewed in Psychoanal. Rev., Vol. 25, page 284.

4.   Schlumberger, M. On the Cure of a Case of Impotence.—This is a case of a working man, a foreman, 46 years old, simple, honest, good worker. He had always been impotent. Two years before consulting Dr. Schlumberger he had consulted Dr. LaForgue at Saint Anne for a few times. He now came to try a psychonalytic cure before resorting to more physiological treatment. The background of his impotence was something like this: as a child, he had lived with his father and mother and sister (older by a few years) in one room, the sleeping quarters of the children separated from that of the parents only by a curtain. Between his mother, an eternally sad woman, and his father, a jack of all trades, a drinker, there were constant quarrels. The children often heard the father demanding sexual relations and being refused or often when he forced them, complaints and abuse of mother. At puberty, Leon, the patient, changed his personality. He became pensive, quiet; he sided with his mother. The daughter sided with the father so that the house was divided. It was the daughter's contention that the mother

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should have performed her conjugal duty even with a drunken husband. Leon, at 23, married a sad, frigid, woman, replica of mother. His father soon ran away; his sister drifted into prostitution; Leon took mother with him and his wife. After five months of analysis there was complete disappearance of the symptom; establishment of potency began almost from the first due to a chance interpretation that brought out confession and gave insight. Leon decided to stop treatment. Then after six months of separation he returned; this time he did not complain of impotency, but of anxiety, desperation almost to the point of suicide. He was hopelessly in love with a young woman (friend of his wife's) who wasn't at all interested in him. Thus, Dr. Schlumberger interprets, Leon had achieved a subtle check to his sexual potency. He had conserved the physical benefit of his first analysis but by loving an inaccessible woman who made fun of him and before whom he felt small, inadequate, he had again his feeling of impotence. After seventeen séances and a short superficial analysis of the wife, Leon seemed to forget his young love and departed. After four months he returned. His mother had committed suicide. He seemed to blame himself but in same breath related all he had done for her. He had put the philosophy gained from the last period of treatment into practice. He had given up his inaccessible friend, taken a mistress whom he saw twice a week and besides every night, sometimes twice, had sexual relations with his wife. He left after this visit. Seven months later, at the doctor's request, he again came to the office. He seemed in good humor, working hard, sure of himself. After his mother's death, he had deliberately moved to the other side of city, near the residence of his inaccessible love of previous phase. He loved this woman still but without hope and hence without suffering. He no longer saw his mistress, spaced his relations with his wife at longer and longer intervals. Dr. S. feels this regression was an expiation in disguise, not too serious, and from which Leon in time will advance by himself.

From an etiological point of view this case contributes nothing new and its technical side remained incomplete and superficial. The author considers its only value to lie in discussing it from the viewpoint of the aggressive impulse and the transference. Psychogenic impotence he considers the product of repression of an aggressive impulse; it is a reaction of fear before one's own sadism (sadism being the intrication of libidinal and aggressive impulses). What was the evolution of this impulse in Leon and was it liquidated by analysis, the author asks? He found no trace of oral aggression, evidence of urethral, anal aggression. At puberty all aggression, all activity suspended (sided with mother). The cure of Leon after first short phase of analysis was due to the transference at the homosexual level, and the aggressive instinct surcharged with libido was accepted by his Ego and was permitted. Up to a certain point Leon recovered his sexual potency to please the analyst and his aggression was compensated for by homosexual libido. But with the brutal father

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he was incapable of attaining genital phase of heterosexual object choice without having integrated the components of sadism for which it would be necessary to break the transfer. From the moment of his love for the inaccessible woman the transference began to be liquidated and during the second phase of the analysis it was completed; transference was made at the heterosexual level.

5.   Brunswick, Ruth Mack. Supplement to the “History of cm Infantile Neurosis” of Freud.—The patient whose illness and treatment was recorded by Freud in “History of an Infantile Neurosis,” Vol. 3, Collected Papers, returned in Oct. 1926, this time suffering from a hypochondriacal “idée fixe.” He complained that an electrical treatment which had been applied to his nose by Doctor X., noted dermatologist of Vienna, for an obstruction of the sebaceous glands had left a scar, a hole in this feature, and he was in despair. Actually there was nothing to be seen, the author says. The patient although he insisted the blemish was most apparent realized that his reaction was abnormal and after appealing in vain to various dermatologists he decided to do something about his attitude and appealed to Freud. It was decided he should be put in the hands of Dr. Brunswick. At the time he was treated by Freud he was a very rich man, but, Russian, he had lost everything in the Revolution and was now working in Vienna for a small pittance barely able to support himself and his sick wife. Since 1920 Freud had each year taken up a collection for him which enabled him to pay his wife's hospital bills, send her to the country and occasionally take a trip there himself. In appearance, the patient who previously had been unable to dress himself, had been accompanied always by his own nurse and doctor, looked healthy, worked hard and stood up well under his changed life conditions plus a sick and complaining wife.

The present phase of his illness had had its incitation in November 1923 when his mother arrived from Russia with a black wart on her nose. Soon afterward, he, the patient, began having trouble with his teeth (which until 1921 had never bothered him), a few blisters appeared on his gums; then in February 1924, the principal symptom of his illness appeared. He began to think about his nose. (He had never been satisfied with his typically Russian, turned up nose; at puberty he had suffered from catarrah; while he was with Freud he had been treated by Doctor X. for obstructed sebaceous glands), he began to worry for fear he would have a wart on his nose, like his mother, his aunt, his wife had or had had at some time. And in May after the return of his mother to Russia, as he seemed to expect, he found a pimple on his nose which refused to go away. From then until October, 1926, when he appealed to Freud, his life was a series of neurotic ailments (except the winter of 1924-25 at which time he returned to former habit of following prostitutes), colds, teeth extracted, pimples on his gums, but most of all, preoccupation with the pimple on his nose—which he one time managed to pull out, leaving, to his mind, a great scar. He went to several

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dermatologists for treatment either for the pimple, the self-inflicted scar or for dilated sebaceous glands he insisted on finding. Most of the doctors treated his ailments lightly, finally, Dr. X. gave him an electrical treatment which, the patient insisted, had left a bad scar and ruined his appearance. He considered X. his most mortal enemy. During his analysis no material beyond that brought out in his analysis with Freud (given in “History of an Infantile Neurosis”) came to light. There was a great change of character, however, as great as had occurred in him as a child of four. He was not the compulsively honorable, conscientous man that Freud described. On the contrary he was dishonest in many ways. A friend coming from Russia in 1922 brought all the family jewels which were considered of great value, but on the advice of his wife, for fear Freud would stop his gifts of money, he did not tell Freud about the jewels. His attitude was hypocritical. He refused to recognize his dishonesty, refused to talk about his nose, yet he was constantly occupied with it. He carried a small pocket mirror into which he looked, feeling of his nose, powdering it. He seemed completely inaccessible. The author diagnosed the case as one of paranoia, hypochondriacal form. The principal diagnostic indications were, 1. Hypochondriacal delusions; trouble with his nose. 2. Delusions of persecution—dentists mistreated him, doctors mistreated him, Doctor X. had defaced him for life. He would not talk about the latter, however, until by chance one day the author was able to inform him before he had the occasion to know, of the death of Doctor X. whereupon he jumped in the air and in a dramatic tone screamed, “Now, I cannot kill him.” 3. The narcissistic regression as it appeared in the ideas of grandeur. The patient considered himself Freud's favorite patient, bragged of a great intimacy with Freud, felt Freud and the author spent much time talking over his case—none of which was true. 4. Absence of hallucination coexisting with presence of delusional ideas. 5. Benign ideas of relation. 6. Absence of mental deterioration. 7. Change of character. 8. Monosymptomatic character of the psychosis—the patient except on the subject of his nose was absolutely average. But the single mention of that organ would make him act like a psychotic person. 9. The ecstacy felt by the patient when X. took out the sebaceous gland (this happened during one of the treatments; when the patient saw the blood he felt a pleasing ecstatic thrill) was not typically psychotic, but essentially of a non-neurotic order. A neurotic can desire castration but he does not accept it with open arms.

On the mechanisms of the psychosis, the author notes a complete identification with the mother, “he no longer played the role of the mother, he was the mother.” He suffered first a self-castration (digging out the pimple), then, not satisfied, he was castrated by X., father surrogate. The dental symptoms indicated a father identification—Freud during this time had two mouth operations whose effects were most apparent. In the change of character, one finds the same regression to the sadistic and masochistic anal stage as in change of character at four

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years of age, only this time he was passive; one abuses him, before he abused others. The early fits of temper were the masochistic desire for punishment from father. The repeated trips to X., the constant requests for treatment equalled evidently the same thing. The libidinal signification of gifts ran through the whole history of the patient; the wolf dream before his fourth Xmas implied the desire to receive libidinal satisfaction from father; the gifts of money from Freud, the thought the latter might leave him a legacy when he died, had the same emotional significance and indicated unconscious passivity.

The author considers this a rare case for observation, two illnesses in same person, both treated apparently successfully by analysis. The second illness was due, she says to part of the transference on Freud not being liquidated, which means, of course, that the patient was not entirely free of his fixation on the father. “When an analyst considers a case terminated it does not mean the patient feels the same. The analyst may be in full possession of the biographical facts of the illness but he cannot know in what measure the patient has need of reworking the material in order to get completely well. A propos why paranoia instead of his first primitive neurosis; the first analysis probably deprived him of the habitual neurotic means of solving his conflict; the latent paranoid tendency was probably always there,—the hypochondriacal tendency that always was manifest during his infancy, as well as his timidity, savagery at periods of adolescence, bear this out. The depth and degree of repression of attachment to father accounts for paranoid form.

6.   Mauco, G. The Psychology of the Child in its Relations with the Psychology of the Unconscious.—This is a comparative study of the thought of the child and the thought of the unconscious. Its aim is not critical but rather the desire to show the analogies that arise between the observations of the genetic psychologists, notably, Piaget, and the conceptions of psychoanalysts.

In the first section on general traits, the author notes that in both unconscious and infantile thought there is an absolute egocentrism; a lack of reflected consciousness and impermeability to reality; in both the aim is the satisfaction of immediate desire with no conscious direction or discipline. From these there develops in both an inability to sense relations, perspective in time and relativity of situation. Hence, we find a lack of conjunctions, no elimination of contraries. The external world is seen without order or organization and is assimilated, not adapted to; things are juxtaposed, syncretized; association is subjective and by simultaneity. Thought of child proceeds by schemas, the thought of the unconscious by symbols. Schema and symbol being “a concentration of ideas of diverse sentiments in a single resuming image.” Both processes are nearer action than thought. Thought is considered a reality and there is confusion between thought and reality, hence, hallucinatory satisfaction of desire. This immediate fusion of heterogenous elements into egocentric schemas and the belief in the objective implications of elements

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thus subjectively condensed, leads to the certitude that all events explain each other (child and unconscious tend to rationalize, explain and justify everything); leads to transductive rather than deductive or inductive reasoning (procession of thought is from singular to singular, without reverse connection, hence exempt from contradiction). The egocentric thought of both unconscious and child, subservient to immediate pleasure leads to intellectual realism (world moulded by immediate point of view, confusion or indistinction between internal and external, thought equals thing) which representation confuses physical and psychological causality (everything is willed and desired, precausality).

From these several traits of unconscious and child's thought resulting in the absolute subjectivity of reality, Mauco, in the second part, distinguishes “Representation of the World in Infant and Unconscious Thought,” participation and magic (arbitrary effective relationship between two phenomenon) animism (life and consciousness given to all inert forms); artificialism and finalism (everything produced by man for a reason). There is a difference between Freud and Piaget on the origin of animism; one attributing it to projection, the other to introjection but the difference is largely one of words. For Freud and for Piaget the origin of artificialism is in child's attitude toward omnipotent parents influenced by child's great interest in birth. From these there results a particular physics of movement and force; shadow is the result of collaboration of two sources, inner and outer; air is only known as movement, wind, and is produced by man, God, movement of bodies; movement is both fabricated and living, artificial and animated; moral necessity is confused with determinism. For Freud and for Piaget the milieu is both assimilated, that is, new movements are inserted into ancient schemas already existing, organisn adapts itself to object by a new motor schema. For Freud assimilation is an emotional digestion of reality and Piaget has admitted the impulsive character of the schemas.

It is for Piaget as for Freud the pressure of the parents on the child which explains respect for the rule. The sentiment of obligation appears only when the demand comes from respected adult. At first there is realism and subjectivity; respect for rule with great freedom in operation. The rule is considered sacred and intangible; new laws are considered as always known and not to be transformed, yet infant and unconscious transform them. It is toward ten that autonomy appears in regard to rule. Due to objectivity and subjectivity there is moral realism; moral values for child and unconscious exist by themselves, independent of conscience and are imposed compulsorily, hence, good is absolute obedience and bad, to do as one pleases. It is a literal obedience, not in spirit of rule; responsibility is objective (conceiving the respect of rules literally and confusing good with obedience, acts are evaluated not in function of intention but in function of their mutual conformity to rules imposed). A just comprehension of adult rules is difficult because of disharmony between rules and nature—obedience to pleasure principle, intellectual

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realism. Justice is automatic and sanction is or an expiatory form. Every fault calls for sanction, every rule violated demands an expiation, thus effacing by compensation or efficacy of pain the fault itself. The genesis of this attitude is explained by instincts upon which are superimposed constraint of adult.

Little by little the child abandons this notion of immanent and automatic justice and evolves through a period of viewing justice as retributive to an equalitarian, distributive justice. Moral becomes heteronomous instead of autonomous. Duty and good are no longer imposed; they are willed and made by the collectivity. For Freud this socialization supposes an altruistic attitude, born of projection on exterior objects of libido detached from the Ego. Piaget shows an analogous phenomena on the intellectual plane when he speaks of progressive detachment of egocentrism through objectivity. Piaget and Freud are in accord on the importance of parental influence in the evolution of morality. The unconscious is amoral, dates from period anterior to all notion of good and evil when impulses are oriented only in satisfaction of needs. It is from their inhibition due to ambivalence of emotion and parental constraint that the notion of moral arises. This notion appears early before language and is connected with the constraints of parents in reference to toilet, food, sleep, etc. It is the primitive infantile attitudes that decide ulterior development of the adult. The formation of a moral conscience is due to a super-ego which is an introjection of parental authority thus allowing accord between individual conscience and social exigencies.

From all this Mauco decides that an undeniable relationship seems to unite the unconscious with infantile psychology. We have noted a number of mechanisms in common; identification, precausality, syncretism and incapacity for contradiction, juxtaposition, symbolism, intellectual and moral realism, magic, animism, artificialism and finalism, and noted that the explanation of their genesis differs very little. We have observed that for Freud as for Piaget the idea of moral conscience has its roots in parental restraint and that adulthood which means mutual respect and cooperation, altruism, is effected by a gradual giving up of initial egoism for objectivity, a projection of interest outward. It is not foolish, then, says Mauco, to see a possible relationship between the unconscious and infantile thought. From a psychoanalytic point of view, the unconscious is nothing else but the infantile phase of the psychic life, hence the neurotic and primitive remain children and the adult himself shows certain adherences to unconscious thought in his behavior. Conscious and unconscious are closely allied (many inventions, artistic production, etc., proceed from methods of unconscious). From a genetic point of view the egocentric thought of child is intermediate between autistic, non-directed thought of the infant, obedient to the pleasure principle and directed, logical thought. Hence, one might say it is the equivalent of the preconscious. The psychology of the child will be characterized,

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then, by the considerable work which, under social pressure the passage from preconscious to conscious demands. The different stages in child development, emotional and intellectual, recognized by Freud and Piaget parallel each other.

Thought Notion of Reality Social Attitude Age
Unconscious or Pure Selfism. Hallucinatory Satisfaction. Narcissistic. 0 to 2-3.
Egocentrism or Total Subjectivity. Precausality, Magic, Omnipotence of Thought. Participation. Intellectual and Moral Realism, etc. Object appears but in the measure in which it is useful to Ego (identification, projection, etc.). 2-3 to 6-7.
Reflected Conscience. Physical Causality.    
Objective Logic. Interests become Altruistic. Objectivity. Objective or altruistic. 6-7 to 11-12.

From these similitudes in the evolution of thought and emotions, Freud and Piaget draw certain conclusions about the parallelism between emotional development and intellectual development. For Piaget it is wrong to consider that thought is now pure, now governed by sentiment. “There is always a parallelism between emotional development and evaluation of thought, because the sentiments and intellectual operations are not two realities, exterior one from the other but two complementary aspects of all psychic activity.” It is then improper to speak of logic and sentiment; there cannot be conflict between thought and sentiment; the conflict can only be born from ego opposition to impersonal rules of thought, i.e., moral and logic. Dualism between individual and society appears at same time on emotional plane as on intellectual plane. And it is adult thought, imposed by adult on child which represents for child the intellectual criteria, as in emotional domain the adult prohibitions cause the formation of the super-ego. Contradiction is repression. Logic then, is really moral of thought, intellectual super-ego. Aside from that, thought proceeds by schemas, whose syncretism is subjective, i.e., emotional, i.e., thought and emotion proceed from same mechanisms. One can also accord symbolic thought of Freud with conception that psychology has of it when it opposes sign to symbol. One notes also that the relationship between conscious and unconscious is one of continuity. The unconscious mechanism is the first stages of conscious activity. It is in infantile unconscious that all psychic life has its roots, “child is father of the man.”

Monsieur Mauco concludes with the warning that these undeniable analogies do not allow one to conclude, however, that the unconscious and infantile thought are identical any more than are primitive and infantile. One must never forget functional divergences.

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Article Citation

(1939). Revue Française de Psychanalyse. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(4):577-591

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