A Clinical Contribution to the Analysis of Narcissistic Defensive Organizations in the Analytic Setting
Catherine Young, Ph.D, R. Psych, FIPA
In “The Ego and The Id” (1923), Freud referred to the clinical phenomenon of a negative therapeutic reaction and attributed unconscious guilt as a central operating factor in its intractability. One particular configuration explored in the literature is the narcissistic organization, first addressed and linked to the negative therapeutic reaction by Abraham. (1919). This paper explores the central idea that it is a construction to prevent unbearable experience from surfacing in awareness. The literature conceptualizes these organizations as a constellation of defenses, phantasies and systems of complex internal object relationships. The emphasis is primarily clinical with the author focusing on the analytic encounter in a case that presents with this organization. This author explores the emotional states that ensue as a result of the conjunction of the two individuals involved in the undertaking, particularly how the analytic couple become involved under the sway of a predominantly destructive narcissistic organization in which both participants are unconsciously engaged in a mutually enacted entanglement that is counter to creative and vital contact needed for psychic growth. How this power-hungry alliance transforms momentarily and incrementally into an enlivening and engaging therapeutic intercourse is a key factor in the clinical material presented. The central hypothesis is made that, paradoxically, the unconscious participation in the enactments can actually further analytic understanding if or when the analyst does “wake up” (Civitarese, 2014) from this unconscious collusion to attend to the patient’s conscious and unconscious analysis of the here and now of the session.
Scientific Meeting | Saturday, September 16, 2017 | Venue: Arbutus Club
2001 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 4A1
Catherine Young PhD. FIPA is a training and supervising psychoanalyst of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Institute, a member of the Western Branch of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and the current secretary on the WBCPS executive of the society. She is on clinical faculty in the Island Medical Program of UBC. Dr. Young maintains a private practice in psychoanalysis in Victoria BC.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this program/session/event participants will be able to:
1. Increase one’s interest in narcissistic organizations and how they can be addressed within the analytic relationship.
2. Exploration of how the patient’s dreaming may act as supervision and emotional calibration for the analyst.
3. Discussion of the impact of life and death instincts (love and hate) on the inter-subjective field.
4. Exploration of intersubjective as an essential element in deepening intimacy within the analytic couple.
SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM COMMITTEE 2018: Karin Holland Biggs, Ph.D., FIPA. (Chair), Celine Brouillette, R. Psych, Elizabeth Wallace, MD, FIPA. For further information please contact: Program Chair: Karin Holland Biggs – firstname.lastname@example.org