By Salman Akhtar
This publication integrates psychiatry and psychoanalysis to provide deeper and sounder scientific profiles of the character problems than were hitherto available.
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For the loss of human quality of identity, he proposes the term metamorphosis. 3 Sexual union, for Lichtenstein, amply demonstrates these two opposing forces at work insofar as it necessitates that an individual become “an instrument for the fulfillment of another one’s needs” (1961, p. 209), thus living out the symbiotic “identity theme” on the one hand and surrendering one’s identity altogether and undergoing metamorphosis on the other. While Lichtenstein’s work is largely in the philosophical phenomenological realm, his ideas about “identity theme” and the impact of early mother-child interactions have significant bearing upon the ontogenetic development of personal identity.
She postulated a sequence of developmental and maturational events through which a child must pass before becoming separate enough from the mother and acquiring a fairly stable sense of being a unique entity. Very briefly, these phases are the autistic phase, in which the neonate is self-contained and encased as if by a psychophysiological stimulus barrier; the symbiotic phase, in which a dual unity exists between the mother and the infant and the psychological self of the child begins in a state of enmeshment with the mother’s self; the differentiation phase, in which the child starts to learn about his psychological separateness through rudimentary explorations of the self as well as the mother’s environment; the practicing phase, in which the toddler elatedly enjoys his newfound psychic autonomy and motoric freedom and appears to be involved in the “conquest of the world”; and the rapprochement phase, in which the child learns that his separateness, autonomy, and motor abilities have their limits and that his world is more complex than he imagined.
Fenichel In elaborating on Freud’s (1923a, 1926b) speculations on the early development of ego, Fenichel (1937) suggested that the image of our self originates from two sources: the direct awareness of our inner experience and the indirect perception of our bodily and mental self as an object. He gave equal importance to somatic foundations and identifications in the origin of the ego (identity) and declared that, for the growing infant, the “sum of representations of his own body and its organs which arises in the process, the so-called ‘body image,’ is of fundamental importance for the further development of his ego” (1937, p.
Broken structures : severe personality disorders and their treatment by Salman Akhtar