IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

Back to Table of Contents

has for some time been my conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that the way a considerable proportion of analysts listen to and perceive their data has, in certain significant respects, not evolved as I believe it would have if historically important concepts concerned with the defensive functions of the ego had been wholeheartedly allowed their place in the actual application of psychoanalytic technique” (Gray, 1982, p. 622). Gray’s (1994, 1996) ‘ close process attention’ of the defensive functioning of the verbal flow of each session focuses on transference analysis revolving around concerns for the analyst’s possible judgmental reactions, within the structural conflict paradigm. Within this paradigm, Gray strenuously argued for the prioritization of micro-interpretations of resistances during any phase of analytic treatment over ‘requiring’ the patient to continuously free associate. ‘Close process attention defense analysis’ is a specific version of an individualized intensively interpretative approach towards judgmental attitude displaced and/or projected by the patient onto to the analyst. In accordance with the ego psychological principles, effective resistance analysis involves an exploration and working through of the nature of the threat to the ego rather than the contents of the resistance. Gray’s critics include those, who argued that his method did not go far enough in shedding the ‘attraction’ of the topographic/archeological-like unearthing of the unconscious contents (Paniagua 2001), as well as those who argued that he went too far (Phillips 2006) in that he overemphasized the role of aggression in mental life, privileged ego resistance over id resistance, and, while his method was suitable for analyzing repression, it was not applicable to other forms of defense like splitting, dissociation or denial. Criticism notwithstanding, Gray’s ‘microstructural model’ of the use of the method of free association to capture and analyze ego’s defensive processes remains an enduring contribution. III Bbb. Examples of Integrative Models As object relations became a more central interest, there were original efforts to integrate ego psychology and objects relations’ theories with implications for the theory of technique. Self-identified as Ego Psychologist, Hans Loewald (1960, 1962, 1978) developed an Ego Psychology that put instinctual theory together with object relations, emerging from the centerpiece of a child’s inchoate ego developing within the mutuality of the mother-child enfoldment. He presents not only ego, but also id as an organization related to reality and objects. In this view, drives are inherently related to and organized within object relations, organizing reality and vice versa; the new object found in analysis is also an instinctual, infantile object. Addressing the analogy between therapeutic process and mother-infant interaction, Loewald uses the metaphor of a higher organization (the analyst) in interaction with a lower organization (the patient) to characterize the therapeutic process, with a “tension” between them across which the patient reaches. He further develops the notion of disorganization and reorganization in analysis, leading to integration at a higher level, originating with Kris’ concept of regression in the service of the ego , along with a two-sided


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online