IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

Back to Table of Contents

parts of oneself had to be kept out of awareness and pushed deep into the ‘immutably private’ unconscious. While not mainstream, this approach has contributed directly and indirectly to psychoanalytic conceptualizations and dynamic work with serious pathologies, conceptualizations of early development and deepening of the understanding of unconscious transactions within the transference-countertransference field. The next challenge that influenced conceptualizations of the unconscious came from within the metapsychological point of view itself. The major contributors to this challenge were: Merton Gill, who renounced the topographical perspective (1963) and then the remainder of metapsychology (1976; 1994); and George Klein (1976). They eventually delineated two psychoanalytic theories: (1) a clinical theory based on indisputable empirical observation; and, (2) a speculative abstract theory. Roy Schafer (1976) proposed an action language that attempted to explain psychological phenomena in dynamic formulations using verbs and adverbs and not nouns or adjectives. In addition, Schafer advocated for the use of language in a manner inclusive of motivational forces and their consequential actions, as action sequences. This was another nudge in the direction of intersubjectiveness. Later anti-metapsychologists include Kohut (1977) and Gedo (1979). Gedo rejected metapsychology because it lost sight of the “person” as “agent” suggesting a model of self in relation to its objects as a corrective. New groups began to develop, adding Interpersonal, Self-Psychology and Relational perspective practitioners (Gerson, 2004; Hatcher, 1990). Their clinical unit of attention was interpersonal with the exception of Thomas Ogden (1992a & b) and Jay Greenberg (1991), both of whom returned to attending to unconscious motivational forces. These developments were accompanied by another group of changes, “metapsychological modifications,” which elevated the use of the structural model and psychic conflict (Arlow & Brenner, 1964), the role and function of unconscious fantasy and transference (Arlow, 1961, 1963, 1969a&b; Arlow and Richards, 1991; Abend, 1990, Gill, 1982; Gill and Hoffman, 1982), the development of character (Abraham, 1923, 1925 & 1926; Reich, 1931 a & b), the sequencing of the intrapsychic process (Rangell, 1969a), ‘unconscious decision-making function’ (Rangell, 1969b, 1971 ), and an extended view of compromise formation (Brenner 1976, 1982, 2006). Woven through these theoretical developments are changes in how the unconscious was conceptualized: a static view of the unconscious , focused primarily on its content gave way to one that has both fluid and structured dimensions . The idea that the unconscious functions through the organization of fantasy, multiple ego states, and identifications (e.g. transference activity, dissociations, narcissistic modes of relating, various internalized object relations, etc) but also fluidly adapts as an active, flexible process to maturation, insight and integration begins to seep into the groundwater of thinking about unconscious functioning. The concept of the unconscious began to be thought of as having both structuring and processing dimensions . Arlow (1969 a, b) and Beres (1962), separately and together (Beres & Arlow, 1974) showed how unconscious fantasy is not only an organized thematic dimension of the unconscious but, also a dimension that – as an expression of more archaic wishes – matures

761

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