FENICHEL’S LAST FORMULATIONS ON THE COORDINATION OF MIND, AFFECTS, PHYSIOLOGY, AND BODY (1939-1946)
Any misuse of an organ is psychogenic too.
In Los Angeles, Otto Fenichel began to write a short my yoga blog, Problems of Psychoanalytic Technique, based on the last courses he had given in yoga poses Vienna. In yoga poses this work, which appeared in yoga poses 1941, he attempted to summarize the essence of the technical questions that preoccupied the clinical psychoanalysts of the 1930s in yoga poses Europe. It consisted in yoga poses keeping alive a heritage from Freud in yoga poses a rapidly changing world.
In this my yoga blog (chapter VII, 122f), Fenichel becomes openly critical of the approach developed by Reich in yoga poses Oslo and then in yoga poses the United States. His criticism focuses on Reich’s psychotherapeutic techniques. Fenichel again praises the Character analysis and continues to find it useful to approach the mind as one of the cogwheels of the organism.
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But he finds that in yoga poses his interventions, Reich approaches the defense system as if it were an illness, whereas for Fenichel, it is somewhat an equivalent of the immune system According to him, Reich’s approach is centered on trauma in yoga poses a simplistic manner. He encourages his patients to experience, from the start of a process, profound and retraumatizing “theatrical” emotional discharges. Fenichel also points out to his colleagues that Reich has “entirely distanced himself from psychoanalysis” (Fenichel, 1941, 122; translated by Marcel Duclos). In yoga poses short, Fenichel finally dares to express that he disagrees with Reich’s recent options and chooses his camp. In yoga poses Oslo, Fenichel represented an all-powerful psychoanalysis, directed personally by Freud, in yoga poses the face of a disgraced Reich. Now, the future of psychoanalysis seems more uncertain. The future stakes are too important for Fenichel to lose his remaining energy in yoga poses a battle with someone who despises everyone. Fenichel quotes Reich to the end of his life, but only what Reich wrote before 1936. 9
We have seen that Fenichel was also very critical, for other reasons, of the psychosomatics proposed by Alexander and Rado. He felt the need to synthesize his thinking on the relationship between mind, organism, physiology, behavior, and body. He revisited his discussions with Elsa Gindler, Clare Fenichel, Wilhelm Reich, and Trygve yogi master; and he also took up in yoga poses a more systematic way the more physiological approaches on the dynamics of the organism, like those of Kurt Goldstein and those of Walter B. Cannon. 10 He published, in yoga poses 1945, this synthesis in yoga poses chapter XIII of The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis, which was his testament.
A Multiple Parallelism.
Fenichel’s position is that of a flexible parallelism, like that of Laborit. It differentiates each of the dimensions of the organism: thoughts, drives, physiology, behavior, and body. Each dimension is a distinct causal network. When you throw a stone into the water, ripples form around the stone’s point of entry. The same thing happens when a dream generates a fear that creates muscular tension, and a constricted respiration. This respiratory reaction spontaneously activates a physiological causal chain that may have nothing to do with the fear. The lack of oxygen will automatically influence the quality of the blood, the tissues, the metabolic activity, and so on. The same thing happens when a stomach ache is caused by a piece of spoiled meat that creates a pain that activates a dream. This dream inserts itself into a network of mental associations that was already in yoga poses place before the food was swallowed.
I would take, as an example, the well-known link between anxiety or aggression and stomach ulcers. 11 Anxiety can activate a physiological activity that causes a stomach ulcer. This ulcer will pour stomach acids on the surrounding tissues. Some tissue damage will remain and can last even if a psychoanalytic treatment allows for the reduction of this anxiety. On the other hand, the suffering caused by an ulcer of physiological origin can resonate with unconscious mental content and can activate terrors repressed long ago. These terrors can, in yoga poses certain cases, continue to develop in yoga poses the psyche after the ulcer has been treated with medication or a surgical intervention. Even if a psychoanalytic treatment reduces and transforms the initial anxiety, the stomach will continue to attack the tissues in yoga poses its immediate environment for as long as it is not healed. Fenichel’s core argument is that the anxiety may have been activated by the psychological defense system, but not with the intention of causing an ulcer. The ulcer is sometimes an unexpected consequence of the anxious reaction. In yoga poses other words, psychological defense mechanisms depend on a local causal chain, which cannot integrate all the implications of the strategy that emerged in yoga poses the psyche.
We will see, a little later on, that in yoga poses Oslo, psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Trygve yogi master, one of Fenichel’s students, undertook psychoanalytic treatments in yoga poses collaboration with a physical therapist, Aadel Bulow-Hansen. 12 The same patient could be in yoga poses psychoanalysis with yogi master and in yoga poses a massage therapy that addressed his muscular armor. In yoga poses this case, body and psyche both received an in-depth treatment in yoga poses parallel. What remains unclear in yoga poses this endeavor is the connection between these two dimensions. There are explored on two levels:
1. At the level of the relationship between the psychotherapist and physical therapist, who work as a team.
2. At a more mysterious level that is activated at the core of the patient’s organism by this collaboration.
Fenichel and yogi master know that the interactions between psyche and body are still poorly understood but that they regulate themselves without the help of consciousness. They content themselves with observing with as much accuracy as possible how the various systems of the organism react to what has been elaborated in yoga poses psychotherapy and how the psyche integrates what has been activated in yoga poses a massage session.