Wednesday, October 29, 2014

volar deutero

I had a patient that registered all the familiar features of the volar stage egoist. She has many friends but no friend. She has instant familiarity with the group facilitator and is one of those people who seem to treat everyone the same way (whether they are above or below them). She would question others about what they say to get information about their legal situation or see if they knew someone she did. She would sometimes offer advice or supply pertinent information to their situation but there was an impatience in her questioning, as if she just wanted you to get to the point or she would sometimes finish off what you were going to say to show that the point was received and that you could finish now. She didn't believe in emotions and would like to say that she didn't have any "feelings". She very baldly would express that she believed she could be perfect and asked who wouldn't want to work towards that.  

We were able to get to a state in individual therapy where she could feel the choice between allowing herself to sink into the sensations of her body and feelings vs. being hyper-conscious. She came up with the metaphor that there was a monkey in her brain who was surrounded by filing cabinets but each drawer in the cabinet was endless and could open forever. The monkey did nothing but record information in files and that he would endlessly search through the files with his hands and she made the gesture to show it. She said that he did nothing else but that it didn't matter because he was like a robot. I tried to ask about who created him or put him there but she couldn't allow herself to explore more in this way.

The monkey was synthesized with her, of course, and she was able to articulate that she felt like she had to "outwit" others, she couldn't share her feelings with others because it would be used against her, and she would be seen as weak.

Her hands and feet were noticeably different than her arms and legs and looked dehydrated, veiny, and boney compared to the trunks they were a part of.

She didn't share any omnipotence of wishes in a straightforward way but instead, rather manically, expressed worry that if she surrendered in the work with me that she might lose the ability she had to walk into a room and have everyone like her in 10 minutes.

She had a quick intelligence and a near photographic memory.

The deutero adaptation allowed her to have intellectual gifts and live as a giant among humans who didn't need them most of the time.    

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The electra complex symptom reading of Campion's The Piano is updated

As usual, I was shocked about how bad the grammar and typos were.

It's probably best to start off with the first chapter if you aren't familiar with the symptom reading. Also, I've made some edits there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

loving the schizoid mind

In a previous post I quoted Reich on the openness of people with schizophrenia. Schizoid may be misleading but that's the word Reich used. In a group I led in the past I was surprised about how casual conversations about astral traveling could occur in the group when no one seemed to be in an open psychotic state of mind. One member even talked about how he used to detach from his body to guard it during sleep for years, while another talked about going to China.

Here the auto-erotic stage and dialectical unity of mind and body seem to be very important. The body-ego can be left when it is threatened while at the subsequent volar stage there is the threat of someone getting under your skin and having one's mind taken over.

Since establishing psychic bisexuality and the poles of egoism/power and altruism/belonging I've been most impressed with my conversations with people who have schizophrenia. With an altruist, they can openly say things like they don't feel like they belong to a family, that they don't feel like they belong anywhere and not even in their own bodies. Fear of getting too close to others and then losing them or being rejected by them are all out in the open.

With the altruistic schizophrenic the lack of aggression and self-assertion is staggering, or, conversely, an altruist who has been pushed around and hurt too much will be bristling with aggressive energy and will inspire fear in other altruists.

However, it is humorous to see that the non-psychotic schizophrenic will still tell you that his or her childhood was good when you begin to take a history with them. Although they much more quickly reveal the stories of parents fighting, neglecting, threatening, losing it, and trying to keep their sanity together, they still don't want to be ungrateful (as altruists).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The auto-erotic and multiple personality disorder

At the auto-erotic stage I noted that the social manifestation is a rivalry of the individual with Space (the world). The individual's own phantasy in his story, picture, or just reverie rivals the perception of external reality and refinding one's mnemic traces there.

I indicated that this rivalry was out in the open in Sci-fi and Fantasy in which an imagined world is actually put forward. Aliens and new worlds in outer space are the setting or magical realms next to ours in Fantasy. For example, there is the "realm of men" but then also the realm of elves, dwarves, ghosts, etc. in many fantasy/horror films.

Having recently begun to work with someone diagnosed with multiple personality disorder and reading over some Fairbairn it seems that existence of different realms in art likely parallels the existence of multiple personalities. However, I'm not sure if it's located in the altruistic pole or in the feminine (object egoism and subject altruism).

It makes sense that a function like narcissistic object choice in which a libidinal position or perhaps a libidinal pole is externalized onto another (i.e. someone doesn't function as an egoist at all but is an anxiety-ridden altruist with no self-assertion and is in a relationship with an egoist), is the inverse of multiple personality disorder in which one can act as an egoistic or altruistic way but without consciousness in the dominant ego structure. (Perhaps its better to follow Elkin and call it the transcendental ego structure so that no atomistic or "conflict free" or rational-choosing zone is implied).


Narcissistic object choice differs from projective identification. In the latter one is interacting with the object by assuming the place of the parental imago and treating the object like their self imago was treated.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

working with the unconscious need for punishment

the unconscious need for punishment is aptly named, because the person can be punishing themselves but they can also be punishing someone who loves them by hurting themselves.

There invariably becomes a point in the conversation in which the person reveals that he intentionally put himself in danger, at risk, or stayed in a bad situation.

For some people you have to ask how does it feel if you say "I don't deserve a good life/security/to be alive/etc.?"

Make sure that you tell them about ambivalence and how it pertains to the self as much as to objects and that although there are some healthy parts/drives in every person what concerns you is the dark side, the ugliness, the detached parts, the weak parts, etc.   This always take some time with some people. As Reich said, the neurotic makes you dig and dig while the [borderline] is very honest (or at least has a very hard time hiding things).

If the person doesn't seem like an altruist then asking about how parents or important people in their lives would think about the bad consequences of their action is the route to go.

The altruist has issues with feeling like she doesn't belong to the family and asking about this will allow you to work with these feelings which are tied to bad conscience, but the egoist's masochism has to do with knowing that the parents want(ed) him to be something.

I've also seen in the altruist passive-aggressive punishment of the parental imago: "you abandoned me and see how I am suffering or dying!" . I've also seen an egoist who is punishing himself for cowardice and weakness where the reference to he parental imagoes wasn't front and center.

These things can come up as early as the first session with some patients.

They will admit that it feels right to say they don't deserve good things, for example, but they won't tell you about what their "sins" are.

However, to keep them you have to express that you know you haven't earned their trust yet and that you will check with them about these things and they will tell you when they are ready.    

power vs. belonging in psychic bisexuality

my         power      -subject egoist                      your      belonging    -subject altruist

your       power     - object egoist                       my         belonging    -object altruist