IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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Box 5: Dramatic style - searches for the unknown and creates suspense. The factor at play is the channel and the phatic function. This function alludes to the capacity of the ego to obtain contact with the object with a minimum of information transmission and maximum security in the connection. For example, in everyday modern life, we might take as a model interminable telephone calls in which the interlocutors do not exchange information but only keep open the channels of communication. What is implied here is the capacity to maintain a useful level of anxiety, anticipating completing an action once the bond is established, the decision taken, and circumstances observed (Boxes 1, 2, 3, 4). This is linked to a developmental moment in the Ego at which it learns to use signal anxiety (Freud, 1926) and in this way freedom is attained from the tyranny of traumatic anxiety or the necessity for the unconditional possession of the accompanying object - fearful/intimidated personae , or those given to flight (1962), and anxiety hysteria and phobic characteristics classically. Box 6: Dramatic style with aesthetic impact . The factor at play is the message and Jakobson’s poetic function. Involved is the Ego’s capacity to unite in one single message the greatest degree of combinations between action, affect and thinking in the use of verbal language and communicative symbolism. This can be observed in successful advertising slogans of demonstrative personae (1962) and classically hysterical character and conversion hysteria neurosis. This classification may then be used to define the ideally plastic Ego , which consists in a combination of ego functions adjusting themselves at each moment to the circumstances afforded by the social field involving the subject’s interaction, and which corresponds to relative absence of psychopathology, i.e. normality (in other words plasticity or ‘astereotypy’) . From this perspective of the analytic process as therapeutic interaction, the idea of complementary styles can be accepted insofar as the analyst as a user of diverse communication codes when he interprets must also opt for the infinite possibilities of constructing the carrier signals of his interpretative message in order to give his interpretative responses. The desideratum of stylistic complementarity is that the form and content of any intervention result is the most well adjusted interpretative response in terms of the point of urgency, prevailing anxiety and defences involved at each moment. II. B. The “Over-Adapted Patient” This concept represents an extension and later elaboration of Liberman’s early interest in psychosomatic incidence, as originally exemplified in his doctoral thesis on Psychosomatic Semiology (1947). In his return to this subject (Liberman, 1982), organic traits are not the core of psychosomatic characterisation, but rather overadaptation to the environment and to unquestioned dominant cultural values. The ‘overadapted’ person adapts to reality in a passive, noncritical way. The substantial consequence of this environmental ‘overadaptation’ is the deferral/suspension and underestimation of the corporeal and emotional self, hence the Liberman’s formula of “ overadapted environmental self ” versus “ repudiated and subjugated body self ”. Signals coming from the emotional world and the world of the body are ignored due to faulty symbol construction by a deficient symbolic apparatus. When the body’s stimuli are not integrated in the psychical


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