Monthly files: June 2015
In 1915, one hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud wrote his seminal paper, The Unconscious, in which he described the workings of the unknown recesses of the mind. To this day, psychoanalysts seek to understand further what the contents of the unconscious are, and how they affect us.
We are all familiar with the relatively benign manifestations of the unconscious: dreams, slips of the tongue, unintended actions, forgetting, or flashes of odd fantasies are common occurences. But the unconscious can also have other, less benign manifestations, that lead people to seek help: symptoms that they cannot understand, nor control. Freud's genius was to describe, and find a way to access, a part of the mind so removed from conscious awareness.
To celebrate the centenary of publication of The Unconscious, the Freud Museum in London is running “The Festival of the Unconscious” in which, among many other installations, Freud’s extensive collection of antiquities will be exposed. Collecting and the symbolism of antiquities are nodal points in Freud’s conception of the mind and are often revealing about the collector’s unconscious…
In the following article, a Freudian scholar delves into the matter.
Read the article.
This film outlines the main discoveries and findings of psychoanalysis, founded by Sigmund Freud, about the structure and functioning of the psyche, and about the nature of mental illness and of psychological disturbances in general.
It’s presented by Otto Kernberg, possibly the most well-know psychoanalyst alive, who has often come to teach psychoanalysis in Madrid. He is a professor of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical School, Training Analyst at Columbia University Centre for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and also the director of the Institute for the Study of Personality Disorders at Cornell University.
This film is divided into the following five main points, which are briefly summarized here below.
Three clinical cases to understand basic concepts of psychoanalysis:
- Depressive –– young woman who had problems in her relationships with men, deeply worried about people being critical of her, suffered from chronic sense of insecurity.
- Obsessive-compulsive –– young man, excessively friendly, perfectionistic, tense with people in authority, tended to submit to them and then exploded when he felt dominated,
- Oedipal constellation –– young man who loved his girlfriend very much, but he was unable to function sexually with her, he had serious sexual inhibitions that he did not have with women with whom he had casual sex.
The dynamic nature of the mind:
- In the first case, the main defence mechanism is projection –– attributing to others her own feelings.
- In the second case, the main defence mechanism is reaction formation –– development of behaviour opposite to what one feels.
- In the third case, the main defence mechanism is repression of sexual feelings towards who he loves and splitting –– separating sexual feelings from love.