IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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theory, Loewald regarded the psychic structure of the instincts as originating in the interaction of the infant with its human environment (mother) (Loewald, 1978a,b/80). In viewing instincts/drives as the product of interaction Loewald extends Jacobson’s thesis that the instincts were a link between the infant’s self and its objects. Going further, Loewald identifies interaction as the critical aspect in the internalization of the subjective representation of the self and other , highlighting the interaction as a basic building block of the mind . Just as was the case for Winnicott in the UK, Loewald and Jacobson in the US can be seen as the forerunners of the intersubjective movement, Some writers (Schwartz 2012) see the explosion of intersubjectivity in 1980’s as an elaboration of developments that were under way in psychoanalysis since at least 1950s, when Heimann and other early Kleinians , Racker , and in a different way Ferenczi and Balin t led the way in bringing attention to countertransference as a central element of clinical psychoanalysis. In this context, intersubjective approach would be one of several outgrowths of that development. This line of development is especially relevant for intersubjectivity of contemporary Relational theories and, differently, for theories of unconscious communication in North American post-Kleinian and post-Bionian orientations (below). Yet, while onceptually enriching, Klein’s focus on internally generated phantasies, dominating the mind of all individuals, patients as well as analysts, throughout life, were viewed initially by some Ego psychologists as well as many Intersubjectivists in the US as devoid of any acknowledgement of the importance of the external environment. Appreciation and influence of the concepts relevant to inter-subjectivity coming out of French psychoanalysis were delayed due to translational lag, but even when subsequently translated, US Intersubjectvists often viewed French thinking as controversial in that it further expanded the ‘reification’ of the unconscious. However, there is a qualified acceptance of French thinking among the wider psychoanalytic community in the US, as the intersubjective construction of drives is better understood. From 1990’s, Wilfred Bion ’s intersubjectively relevant conceptualizations of communicative ‘projective identification’ and ‘containment’ (see the separate entries CONTAINMENT and PROJECTIVE IDENTIFICATION) as well as Ogden ’s analytic ‘third’ are increasingly embraced in the US, especially in the West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle) where Bion worked, wrote and taught in the latter part of his life. Bion’s conceptualizations had profound influence on the strand of contemporary intersubjective thinking about unconscious communication (below). Among the psychoanalytic theorists who were most influential in shaping his thinking, Stolor ow (1994) credits Freud (‘without whom there would be no psychoanalytic theory to be dialoguing about’), Winnicott (for ‘his insight into the self and human intersubjectivity…in the form of evocative poetic imagery’), George Klein (for ‘radical theorectomy’), Kohut and Gill, both of whom ‘initially steeped in classical metapsychology, and both eventually proposing radical alternatives to traditional theory’. Revealing of Stolorow’s evolution towards experience-near recontextualization of (Freud’s) metapsychology is one of his earlier papers (Stolorow, 1978) where he asserts that Freud's structural formulations both contain and obscure his penetrating clinical insights into the subjective experience of conflict, and he proposes, that id, ego and superego, are best understood as “a symbolic representation of the tripartite structuration of the subjective experiential world in states of emotional conflict” (ibid, p.314).


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