Attachment and Mentalization

In the past twenty years, attachment research with children and adults has yielded a lot of information on how implicit relational patterns are transferred from parents to their children in the first year of life. A psychoanalytic theory, useful for the treatment of Borderline Personality disorder, and which complements the classical theories is proposed on the basis of these data . A central concept in this theory is the development of a coherent self-as-agent and the development of the capacity to mentalize. This is the capacity to understand and to reflect on our own feelings, ideas and intentions as well as those of others. In neurosis the focus of treatment may be mental representation disorder, conflicting mental representations, but with borderline patients the focus has to be the mental process-disorder and the furthering of the development of mentalizing skills. This distinction has consequences for the technique of treatment.

What can educators do with psychoanalysis in their daily institutional practice within a community? On the infantile roots of the desire of the educator.

The central focus of this article is the psychoanalytically orientated day-to-day educational work in an institution. We approach this problem from the concept of desire and pose two questions. The first concerns the transference of psychoanalysis in an institution. How can analysts transfer psychoanalysis to educators, nurses or other paramedics during their daily work in an institutional set-up? The desire of the analyst is the central axis of this problem. The core of the second question relates to the desire of the educator. How can psychoanalysis help us define our subjective position as educator in a community and in an institution? First, we question the relationship between desire and psychoanalytical formation. Secondly, we describe the infantile roots of our desire as an educator starting from our own particular life story.

Working with youth and echoes from the social discourse

The author explores working with adolescents in three different settings: non-voluntary therapy for drug addicts; a centre for homeless men and women; and a youth information centre. With regard to each of these groups, we tend to encounter similar discourses. And within each setting different elements of these same discourses resonate.. These elements reveal a lot about the positioning of these adolescents: the young drug abuser as ‘dangerous’; the adolescent victim of violence as object of compassion; and the ‘normal’ adolescent who should enjoy him/herself but in moderation. The author uses clinical fragments to illustrate. What effects do those labels and signifiers have on work with adolescents themselves? And how can psychoanalysis prevent us from falling into the trap of disdain, compassion or indifference?

The nature of the tension between Pedagogic Norms and Psychoanalytic Ethics. Clinical reflections based on work with a seventeen year-old adolescent.

The author focuses on the ethical aspects of work in an institution with youngsters whose problematic behaviour deviates from societal norms. A central element in this work concerns tension in the relationship between pedagogical norms and psychoanalytical ethics. The ethics of psychoanalysis translates to: (1) the level of policy; as well as to (2) the level of the clinic around which this policy is being constructed; and last, but not least, to (3) the level of the subject who finds him or herself within the institution. Some theoretical guidelines of Lacan support this threefold translation. In this process, the concept of ‘neutrality of the analyst’ will be confronted with the norm as the incarnation of the ‘desire of the Other’. The value of this theoretically founded ethical attitude is illustrated through the clinical work with a seventeen year-old boy.

Overwhelming encounters in Fioretti: On the necessity of the outside for living and working in a child and youth psychiatric ward

This paper witnesses the author’s first experience with child and youth psychiatry. It starts from a description of the architecture of Fioretti as space constitutes a fundamental dimension in which clinical phenomena become readable. The initially overwhelming effect of the encounter with the children and youths, leads the author to the perspective that both movement and the dimensions of the outside are key elements that may transform overwhelming encounters into creative, psychoanalytical encounters.

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The “ontranding” of the psyche

This article deals with the necessary dynamic between the psyche or movement and the object. The notion of movement serves as a material conception of the psyche, in the same way as the drive, the life-drive and language are material: they exist on the basis of a mutual defining relationship to a support, to an object. This necessity (or thought) is considered from within psychosis. Using the poet Antonin Artaud as the movement is illustrated which is not defined by their grounding encounter with the object. With a neologism psychosis is named as ontrand, both in the sense of approach as well as in the sense of distancing. On the basis of a fragment of a case it is explained that, in a way that is different, it is up to the analyst or therapist to ontrand psychosis. In support of this ontranden the case is made for a sufficient continuing constellation of objects. This translation is offered as what Winnicott meant by transitional objects and phenomena.