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MIGHT FREUD’S LEGACY LIE BEYOND THE COUCH ? Stuart W. Twemlow, MD Freud Conference Melbourne, Australia May 20, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "MIGHT FREUD’S LEGACY LIE BEYOND THE COUCH ? Stuart W. Twemlow, MD Freud Conference Melbourne, Australia May 20, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 MIGHT FREUD’S LEGACY LIE BEYOND THE COUCH ? Stuart W. Twemlow, MD Freud Conference Melbourne, Australia May 20, 2006

2 Analysts in the Trenches, Streets, Schools, and War Zones, Sklarew, Twemlow, and Wilkinson, Analytic Press, New Jersey, 2004 The Future of Prejudice: Applications of Psychoanalytic Understanding Toward Its Prevention, Rowman & Littlefield, New York, 2007

3 History of Applied Analysis Anna Freud/Erik Erikson  London Nurseries  Teacher Training  Legal Advocate (“Best Interests”) August Aichorn and Fritz Redl  Delinquents Understood and Treated Therapeutically  Gang Behaviors Project  Karl Menninger  Villages Projects Vamik Volkan  Ethnic Conflicts and Diplomacy Eliott Jaques & Requisite Organizations Wilhelm Reich ; Free Clinic and Prevention concept : Vienna & Berlin

4 Modern Applications Henri Parens and Parenting Sklarew and Grieving Children in Schools Altman and Inner City Racial Tensions Marens and Police/ Community Relationships Homeless Shelter in Bronx : Alan Felix Yale Infant and Mother Project : Linda Mayes Twemlow & Fonagy : Mentalizing Schools & Communities John Bowlby & Peter Fonagy: Attachment Theory & Parenting Styles Aaron Beck: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Susan Coates : Acute Trauma

5 Principles of the Traditional Clinical Approach Consultative/ Tavistock model  Diagnosis of Large & Small Group Dynamics of Organization is distinct from interventional strategies  Recommendations not Interventions  Model is Group-as –a -Whole  Interpretation is the Method

6 Principles of Active Interventionist- Group Focused Approach 1)Create Safe Common Ground to Allow Free Expression 2)Develop Habit of Collaboration: Start with Easy Issues 3)Humanize People Apart from Painful Issues 4)Set Boundaries for Allowing Respect for Differences 5)Common Language 6)Process is the Fix: No Magic Bullet 7)Non-Blaming Partnerships 8)Facilitator Must be Neutral: Goal is Why & How to Fix

7 PSYCHOANALYTIC IDENTITY Derived from Mode of Action Analyst is a Team Member NOT the Leader Unique Knowledge of Unconscious Motivation & Group Process ( cf Rational Actor Approach)

8 PSYCHOANALYTIC IDENTITY : Clinical Perspective Analyst’s expertise attributed to benefits of psychoanalytic training; Analyst has expertise that the patient does not have Focuses on pathology Analyst serves individual patients Analyst works confidentially with individual Neutrality is protected through “equidistance” (variously defined) Trauma is to be recognized and integrated Relationship is laboratory for change Transference is used to bring to the individual patient’s attention to problematic behaviors Regression is necessary to elucidate “clinical facts” Countertransference analysis is valuable data and helps address apparent impasse Technique addresses resistance Technique hinges on interpretation Relative thrust toward autonomy and differentiation of the individual Enhances reflective self-functioning

9 PSYCHOANALYTIC IDENTITY : The Community Perspective I Analyst’s expertise conferred by degree to which s/he is helpful; fosters leadership and collaboration in community experts (parents, teachers, police, etc.) Focuses on prevention, adaptation and restoration Groups are recipients of interventions Analyst works publicly to change how a group functions Neutrality is protected by an altruistic focus on goals which may be passionately held Trauma defines group membership Relationships are mutative; partnerships between stakeholders across multiple sectors of community, enhance outcome Transference is used to propel adaptive solutions without necessarily interpreting “Facts” developed from shared experiences and examined in context contrasts with administrative or non-psychoanalytic fact-finding

10 PSYCHOANALYTIC IDENTITY : The Community Perspective II Partners from different disciplines can help each other take off blinders inevitably created by distinct points of view Resistance creates opportunity for subversive pressure that may be more experiential than interpretive. Allows for identification of conditions necessary for a shift to collaboration. The act of designing an interaction between antagonistic groups brings to light obstacles to change. Relative thrust toward community-generated solutions Enhance community responsibility across different groups/identities

11 PSYCHOANALYTIC IDENTITY : Common Elements Developmental perspective imperative; in fact, developmental perspective may be missing from more traditional community problem solving strategies Holding and containing are an important frame of reference All sides of the conflict are respected and privileged in the process of working through Appreciation of the other’s subjectivity Sufficiently motivating anxiety is necessary Compartmentalized solutions for specific symptoms are likely to fail Urgent requests to fix/ short-term solutions are best examined further

12 In Summary: The Community Analyst Fosters Collaboration in Community Experts Focuses on Prevention, Adaptation, & Restoration Groups are the Focus of Interventions Works Publicly to Change How a Group Functions Neutrality Based on Altruistic Focus on Shared Goals Trauma Defines Group Membership Creates Multiple Partnerships Uses Transference to Propel Adaptation Facts Developed from Shared Experiences Resistances are used to shift from Coercive to Collaborative Relationships in the Stakeholders

13 “there is one topic which I cannot pass over so easily—not, however, because I understand particularly much about it or have contributed very much to it. Quite the contrary: I have scarcely concerned myself with it at all. I must mention it because it is so exceedingly important, so rich in hopes for the future, perhaps the most important of all the activities of analysis. What I am thinking of is the application of psycho- analysis to education, to the rearing of the next generation.” (p. 146 ) Sigmund Freud. 1933, New Introductory Lectures

14 Applying Analytic Solutions to School Problems Mentalisation : staff, students parents and communities mentalize each other Power Dynamics are recognised & rebalanced Developing Social & Emotional Relational Skills Making and Deepening Friendships Capacity to Control, Modulate, Sublimate Develop “Work Group” Collaboration Altruism and Social Responsibility Climate & Buy-in Focused

15 Common Resistances to School Violence Prevention Lack of Long-Term Commitment of Resources Poor Understanding of Children as Humans Lack of Integrated Systematic Effort to change School Climate Hopelessness and Ongoing Lack of Safety Poor Training of Adults to Recognize “at risk” children Too Much Focus on Physical Safety & Security of Plant Lack of Attention to Adult Bullying of Children & Childrens’ Bullying of teachers and Parents’ Bullying of Teachers

16 PEACEFUL SCHOOLS INITIATIVE Bystander Focus NOT Victim-Victimizer Interaction Creating Teacher Buy-In Long-Term Commitment Natural Leaders Training Bystanders to Be Aware and Become Involved


18 For Example : Analytic Techniques: Using Children’s Music Back Off Bully Song for K-6 Impacting Unconscious Creating Mentalising Fostering Collaboration Involving the Home in School Climate Teaching About Unconscious Power Impacts Groups of Children-FUN!!!!

19 BACK OFF BULLY Back Off Bully, Get Out of My Face, Everybody Needs their Personal Space, Do Your Own Thing, Get Off My Case, Did You Ever Notice that Trouble Comes In Threes, The Bully, The Bystander, and The Victim, That’s me, The Bully Needs Attention, The Victim gets Hurt The Bystander just Watches and Doesn’t say A Word, Shame is The Bully’s Game, The Victim Stands There And Takes The Pain, Bystander You fan The Flames, Round and Round It’s a Hurtin’ Game, We Don’t Like The “Bully Game”, With All That Pain And Shame, We’ve Got Other Things To Do, Better Roles To Play, Im Not A Victim, I am A Person, I Will Stand Up For Myself, I’m Not A Bystander, I am A Friend Who Can Look After Someone Else, Change Bully, You Can Change, You Don’t have To Play That Hurtn’ Game, Try A Different Role, Try A Brand New Way, Its Easy, All You Have To Say Is BACK OFF B ULLY

20 FREUD CAN BE FUN ……………………………..

21 International Applications Implementing PEACEFUL SCHOOLS in Jamaica Resistances: Ms. W Use of the Internet for Supervision Evaluation and Program Development

22 Establish a Reliable Liaison When working abroad, supervision can occur from afar, but local presence under analytic direction is a must.

23 Activating the Bystander Identify High Risk Group Create a Way to Be Valued for Helpful Bystanding Create Hope

24 Developing Natural Leaders Activation of Helpful Bystander by Finding and Supporting Natural Leadership

25 Follow Through Create a Self Sustaining Source of Revenue by Connecting US Students and Teachers Using the “FRIEND BRACELETS”

26 Listening & Diagnosing


28 Police Intervention: 100 Hours of Training

29 Active Intervention: Police- Community Dialogue

30 Training Natural Leaders

31 Experiencing a Problem Directly

32 Teacher Training & Using the Internet

33 BACK OFF BULLY: Applied Psychoanalysis


35 Teacher Essay Contest

36 Training Psychoanalysts and Those with Psychoanalytic Sympathies: Year I Identity as a Community Psychoanalyst. Compare the concept to clinical models. Study the history of psychoanalysis as a general psychology versus a general treatment method. Study the approaches to community and social issues including ones that focus on effecting change through action compared to effecting change through consultation and interpretation. A study of small group dynamics. A study of large group dynamics. How to get involved in the community.

37 Training Psychoanalysts and Those with Psychoanalytic Sympathies: Year II 1. Addressing community problems that have become relevant to immediate community needs, e.g., violence. 2. Addressing more primary prevention issues for example (a) improving parenting of children at home and (b) improving the social and emotional education of children in schools. 3. Organizational consultation comparing agencies who are not working effectively, who request a more traditional clinical model consultation to help them function, with the group focussed-interventionist approach.. 4. The impact of social issues on community integration and cohesion for example the role of immigrants, refugees, exiles, different socio- economic groups, racial/ethnic groups, gender bias and religious intolerance etc, on community functioning. 5. The area of negotiation and mediation particularly of labor disputes and political issues. 6. Working with underprivileged populations: addressing issues that are chronic, for example dealing with the homeless populations. 7. Publicizing oneself as community psychoanalyst

38 Eric Erikson, who in a talk while in India in 1963, delivered a statement that continues to reverberate : “Man’s socio-genetic evolution is about to reach a crisis in the full sense of the word, a cross roads offering one path to fatality, and one to recovery and further growth. Artful, perverter of joy and keen exploiter of strength, man is the animal that has learned to survive “in a fashion”, to multiply without food for the multitudes, to grow up healthily without reaching personal maturity, to live well but without purpose, to invent ingeniously without aim, and to kill grandiosely without need” (p. 227). Erikson E. (1964). Insight & Responsibility, New York, W W Norton & Co.

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