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Dr. Sigmund Freud – Psychoanalysis Case Study Patient: Sergei Pankejeff ( 1887-1979) – Wolf Man From the History of an Infantile Neurosis ( 1918[1914 ]) in An Infantile Neurosis and Other Works. Vol.17, S.E. pp.1-104. “The perfect stillness and immobility of wolves……
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Dr. Sigmund Freud – Psychoanalysis Case Study Patient: Sergei Pankejeff (1887-1979) – Wolf Man From the History of an Infantile Neurosis (1918) in An Infantile Neurosis and Other Works. Vol.17, S.E. pp.1-104. “The perfect stillness and immobility of wolves…… The factors of attentive looking and motionlessness” (Freud, 1918, p.33 & 34) Ayla Michelle Demir 14/02/2013 Clinical Interventions in Psychoanalysis MA Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society Department of Psychology, School of Social Science, Brunel University.
Psychoanalytic Context and Circumstances Sergueï Pankejeff (1886-1979) born 24th December 1886 to a wealthy Russian aristocratic family in St. Petersburg. Following his sister’s suicide in 1906, in 1908 Pankejeff consulted some of the most eminent psychiatrists in Europe: Dr.Bechterevin St. Petersburg, Dr.Ziehenin Berlin, and Dr.Kraepelinin Munich. He spent a long time in German sanatoria. Period of Psychoanalytic Treatment Initial analysis with Freud started in February 1910 - October 1910. Analysis proper from October 1910 – July 1914 Freud treated Pankejeff six times a week for nine months of each year, Oct – June. In October 1913 Freud decided he would treat Pankejeff for one more year and the treatment was terminated in July 1914. Total psychoanalytic treatment approx. 4½ years. Pankejeff visited Freud in 1919 and they agreed to have a short ‘re-analysis’, November 1919 - March 1920. For the next six years, Freud collected money for the sustenance of Pankejeffand his wife. Dr. Ruth Mack-Brunswick A few years after his treatment with Freud, Pankejeff went to Freud again for help, but Freud referred him to Ruth Mack-Brunswick with whom he was in analysis with from 1926 -1928. Dr. Kurt Eissler and Dr. Wilhelm Solms Pankejeff subsequently had analysis with a number of psychoanalysts. His is one of the longest on-going case histories. Patient’s Career Pankejeff came from an aristocratic family and in childhood his parents were millionaires. Sudden dramatic impoverishment caused by the Russian Civil War (1917–1922), meant his family saw a drastic change in their financial and social circumstances. Pankejeff painted portraits and pictures and after years of poverty, eventually worked as lawyer in an insurance company.
. Family History Mother Sergueï’smother was a pious woman who suffered from abdominal disorders and had little to do with her children who were brought up religiously. Sexual desires were viewed as socially unacceptable and his mother indirectly ‘controlled’ his sexuality through her religious influence. Father His father was a ‘manic-depressive’ and had long absences from home. He committed suicide in 1907 by consuming an excess of sleeping medication. Sister Anna Pankejeff, his sister, 2 years older and described as a lively, gifted, precocious child. During her twenties she began to withdraw from society and in 1906 she lethally poisoned herself. His sister’s and father’s suicides increased his depression and he consulted psychiatrists. Nurse Nanya Sergueïwas looked after by a nurse called Nanya, described as “an uneducated old woman of peasant birth” whom he loved very much. She loved him as a ‘substitute’ son, as her own son had died young. English Governess A governess was engaged to be responsible for the two children. She is described as an eccentric and quarrelsome woman who was addicted to alcohol. Wife Therese In 1908 in the midst of significant losses, Pankejeff met his wife Therese, a nurse working in a Sanitorium that Dr.Kraeplin had recommended. She committed suicide in 1938.
Official Diagnosis Wrong Official Diagnosis - Questionable Medical Authority Pankejeff’s official diagnosis was ‘Manic-Depressive Insanity’ made by an eminent psychiatrist Dr. Emil Kraeplin (1856–1926). Sigmund Freud questioned Dr.Kraeplin’s diagnostic authority, as he thought the young man had ‘Obsessional Neurosis’. “I was never able, during an observation that lasted several years, to detect any changes of mood which were disproportionate to the manifest psychological situation either in their intensity or in the circumstances of their appearance.” (Freud, 1918, p.7) The18 year olds health deteriorated after his sister committed suicide and a Gonorrheal infection incapacitated him and made him completely dependent on other people. He began his psychoanalytic treatment with Dr. Freud a few years later at the age of 23. Adulthood: Childhood: Split – Alteration – Contradictory Character: Intestinal Infections Infantile Neurosis Aggressive / Debase │ Passive / Pious Depression Anxiety Hysteria Cruel to small animals │ Afraid, Fearful of animals Manic-Depressive Disorder Animal Phobia Phantasies of beating others │ Religious Ritual and Ceremonials Alienation in adolescence Obsessional Neurosis Blasphemous thoughts │ Obsessed thinking about Holy Trinity Narcissistic Personality Disorder ‘God-Swine’ ‘God-Shit’ │ Prayer at sight of excrement Freud overlooked Pankejeff’s grief and depression. Infantile Sexuality / Neurosis Freud thought that the ‘cause’ of the 18 year olds breakdown was much earlier, “his early years were dominated by severe neurotic disturbance”, which began before his fourth birthday as an ‘Anxiety Hysteria’ in the shape of an ‘Animal Phobia’. The ‘Anxiety Hysteria’ then changed into an ‘Obsessional Neurosis’ with a religious content.
Psychopathology • Neurosis • Panic Attacks • Phobias • Obsessional Neurosis (OCD) • Depression • Intestinal Disorders • Gonorrheal infection • Infantile Anorexia • Alienated (Cut Off) • • Split Personality: • Calm/Quiet – Irritable/Violent • • Manic-Depressive • • Passive – Aggressive • • Homosexual tendencies • Sadomasochistic tendencies • Infantile Sexuality, Rivalry and Conflict. • • Conflict between City and Country life, Society and Nature, Laws and Instincts. • • Rivalry and conflict between Sergueï’sand his more aggressive older sister Anna. • • Sexual seduction of Sergueïby his older sister, who seduced him into sexual practices. • • Jealousy and rivalry between Anna and the nurse • e.g. Anna told Sergueï abusive and slanderous stories about the nurse Nanya having sex • the gardener and other men. • • Hostility felt by Sergueï towards his English governess, that he disliked. • • Rivalry between his beloved nurse Nanya and his English governess. • • Hostility felt by the English governess towards the boy’s nurse Nanya. • • Sergueï preference for his nurse. • • Father’s unmistakable preference for his daughter Anna and not his son Sergueï. • • Aggressivity of his sister Anna became identified with the aggressivity of the governess. INFANTILE SEXUALITY, CONFLICTS, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
Psychoanalytic Treatment Talking: Cure through Language – Memory Tracing Pankejeff would talk about forgotten memories of his childhood, related to the complicated attachments he had to his pre-schizophrenic sister. Together with Freud, they would try to reconstruct an intelligible story of his psychosexual development. The information provided by his free associations was employed as manifest material and attempts were made at filling in the gaps in his memory. Large gaps would remain in his memory and the work of psychoanalysis was to try and piece together, through language, the strange fragmentary memories of his early life into a more integratedcoherent story. Freud, S. (1914) Remembering, Repeating and Working Through. Remembering Childhood Conflicts A story Pankejeff heard ‘repeated’ in his childhood, was that at first he was a quite good boy, but later became irritable and violent and “flew into a rage and screamed like a savage.” (Freud, 1918, p.15) Sergueï’smother thought the ‘alteration’ in his character was due to the detrimental influence of the governess. While his grandmother, thought his ‘irritability’ had been provoked by arguments between the nurse and governess. The boy took the side of the nurse and “let the governess see his rage.” (Freud, 1918, p.15) Freud, S. (1918) From the History of an Infantile Neurosis, Vol. 17, An Infantile Neurosis and Other Works. PSYCHOANALYTIC TREATMENT
The Dream of the Window Opening and 6 or 7 Motionless White Wolves sitting still in a Tree Watching him. Pankejeff’s Anxiety Nightmare "I dreamt that it was night and that I was lying in bed. (My bed stood with its foot towards the window; in front of the window there was a row of old walnut trees. I know it was winter when I had the dream, and night-time.) Suddenly the window opened of its own accord, and I was terrified to see that some white wolves were sitting on the big walnut tree in front of the window. There were six or seven of them. The wolves were quite white and looked more like foxes or sheep-dogs, for they had big tails like foxes and they had their ears pricked like dogs when they pay attention to something. In great terror, evidently of being eaten up by the wolves, I screamed and woke up. My nurse hurried to my bed to see what had happened to me. It took quite a long while before I was convinced that it had only been a dream. I had had such a clear and life-like picture of the window opening and the wolves sitting on the tree. At last I grew quieter, felt as though I had escaped from some danger and went to sleep again.” (Freud, 1918, p.29) A Dream is a fulfilment of a Wish Pankejeff’s masochistic tendencies at the time of the dream, years after he witnessed the primal scene, suggested to Freud that the sexual act he envisioned between his father and himself would be one in which he assumed the passive role and his father the active role.
Oedipus Complex and Fairy Tales - Determinants of Anxiety Dreams and Animal Phobia. “The effect produced by these stories… was shown by a regular animal phobia.” (Freud, 1918, p.32) Wolf and the Seven Little Goats. “There must have been some fairy tale behind his recollection” Little Red Riding Hood (Freud, 1918, p. 31) Substitute Displacement Distortion Ambiguity Psychoneuroses Oedipus Complex and Animal Phobia In children’s animal phobias, animals are substitutes for the Father. Phobic reactions to animals arise out of the Oedipus Complex and Freud thought they were among the earliest of childhood Psychoneuroses. Children displace mixed ambivalent emotions towards the father onto an animal, but this displacement does not bring an end to the conflict since the animal is regarded with both fear and interest. OEDIPUS COMPLEX & FAIRY TALES DETERMINANTS OF ANXIETY DREAMS & ANIMAL PHOBIA
Psychoanalytic Treatment Promoting Regression Inter-subjective Disjunction Analyzing Dreams and Resistances Reconstructing Infantile Neurosis Dream Analysis Pankejeff reported to Freud that the, “only piece of action in the dream was the opening of the window; for the wolves sat quite still without making any movement on the branches of the tree and looked at me.” (Freud, 1918, p.29) Freud thought this part of the dream contained a ‘reversal’. It was the boy himself who had seen something (the primal scene) and the opening of the window implied that what he had seen was eye opening, but had caused him to feel enormously anxious, as if he had seen something that he was not supposed to see. Reconstruction of the Primal Scene This view of the ‘window opening’ being the action center of the dream, led away from Freud’s initial thought that the dream arose from remnants of the fairytales and stories told to him, to the conviction that behind the dream lay a real event. Namely, an experience when he was 1½ sleeping in his parents bedroom and witnessed them having sex from behind the way animals have sex, ‘doggy style’. The boy assumed the scene was an act of violence, but “the expression of enjoyment he saw on his mother’s face did not fit with this” and he was obliged to recognize the experience was one of pleasure. PSYCHOANALYTIC TREATMENT
Passive Aggressive Phantasies - Reversal of the Real Wildlife painter Henri Rousseau (1844 – 1910) The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897. In a Tropical Forest Combat of a Tiger and a Buffalo, 1908. Horse Attacked by a Jaguar, 1910. Passive and Aggressive Phantasies Pankejeff had dreams of aggressive actions on his part against his sister and against the governess, e.g. he tried to strip his sister after she had taken a bath. He also had dreams in which he received punishments on account of his aggression towards them. His dreams and phantasies seemed all mixed up. For example, he ‘remembered’ as a child playing with his sister one summer and her taking hold of his penis and playing with it, while telling him monstrous stories that his nurse did the same thing with men, “she stood on top of men,” Freud thought that the phantasies Anna told were meant to efface the memory of the sexual abuse which later on offended his masculinity. The phantasies covered the truth by putting an imaginary and converse i.e. opposite scene in the place of the historical truth. That in reality he was not aggressive to his sister or to the governess, but was so in his dreams. In reality, his nurse did not have casual sex with lots of men. Reversal of the Real The boys phantasies suggested that he had not played the passive part towards his sister, that, on the contrary, he had been aggressive. PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE PHANTASIES REVERSAL OF TRUTH
Theme of Castration Grandfather’s Story of The Wolf and the Tailor “A tailor was sitting at work in his room, when the window opened and a wolf leapt in. The tailor hit after him with his yard – no (he corrected himself), caught him by his tail and pulled it off, so that the wolf ran away in terror. Sometime later the tailor went into the forest and suddenly saw a pack of wolves coming towards him, so the climbed up a tree to escape from them. At first the wolves were in perplexity but the maimed one, which was among them and wanted to revenge himself on the tailor, proposed that they should climb one upon another till the last one could reach him. He himself – he was a vigorous old fellow – would be the base of the pyramid. The wolves did as he suggested, but the tailor had recognized the visitor whom he had punished and suddenly called out as he had before, “Catch the grey one by his tail”. The tailless wolf, terrified by the recollection, ran away and all the others tumbled down.” (Freud, 1918, p.31) CASTRATION
Freud’s Analysis Loss of Chronological Time in Memory Sergueï remembered a ‘naughty period’ in which he transformed into an irritable violent child, but his memory of when his ill tempered behaviour began unclear. Unconscious Repetition and Identification with Mother’s Illness His intestinal disorder was an identification with his mother, imitating her hypochondria, he became nervous of his health. Sexual Seduction by his Sister At 3¼ years of age his sister Anna seduced him into sexual practices. One spring when their father was away, she took hold of his penis and played with it, while at the same time telling him ‘incomprehensible’ stories about his (good object) the nurse doing obscene things with the men. The sister’s seduction forced him into a passive role and had given him a passive sexual aim. Cruel English Governess (Bad Object) The English governess is described as an eccentric and quarrelsome person who was addicted to alcohol. She disliked the nurse and repeatedly bitched about her. The boy perceived his nurse as a ‘Good Object’ and his governess as a ‘Bad Object’. He identified the governess with the bitchyness and slanderousness of his sister, i.e. a negative transference. Threat of Castration The boy loved and perceived his nurse Nanya as his Good Object. As a small infant he began to play with his penis in his nurse’s presence as an attempt to seduce her. Nanya, a pious woman, said that wasn’t good and children would get a wound in that place if they did that. The comment was experienced as a threat and the boy’s dependence on his nurse began to diminish. His emerging genital development was thwarted and he was unable to express his libido. Instead, he got angry and started having fits of rage. Alteration of Character After Nanya’s refusal and threat, he gave up masturbating so that his sexual life, which was just beginning to become genital, gave way before this obstacle and regressed into a pre-genital stage of development. As a result of the suppression of his sexuality, his libido took on a sadistic-anal character and he became irritable and started torturing animals and humans for sexual gratification and to vent his repressed sexual energy. FREUD’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Freud’s Analysis Pious Mother His mother acquainted him with the Bible stories in order to elevate him. These were read to him by his mother and also Nanya who herself was very pious. Sergueï longed to be pious like his ideal Nanya and performed rituals like praying every night and kissing all the holy pictures that hung in his room. However, he had blasphemous thoughts about God and the Holy Trinity and attributed horse dung, swine and excrements on the ground to them. Fear of the Father In the boy’s early years, his relationship to his father had been very affectionate – a positive transference. He played with him and felt very proud of his father, declaring he wanted to be a gentleman like him. Initially the father preferred his son, but later they became estranged and the father preferred his sister and the boy felt slighted. After repeated attacks of depression, the father was no longer able to conceal the pathological features of his character and the boy’s fear of his father became the dominating factor. Totemic Father Freud called Pankejeff’s wolf a ‘totemic father-surrogate’ and said his patient had a ‘conscious’ fear of wolves and an ‘unconscious’ fear of his father. His father may have indulged in ‘affectionate abuse’ and threatened to ‘gobble him up’. The boy’s fear of the wolf, was a ‘representation’ of his “infantile fear of the father” and the wolf became a father surrogate to the boy. (Freud, 1918, p.32) Compare fear of the father with the myth of Kronos. (Otto Rank 1912) Identification with Christ A further phase in his relationship with his father was expressed through Pankejeff’s identification with Christ, the loving son of his father, the divine father. God the father was another surrogate father who arrived on the scene after the animal totem had been eclipsed. Through his identification with Christ, “his extravagant love of his father, which had made his repression necessary, found its way at length to an ideal sublimation”, for he could love his father, who was not called God, with a fervor which had sought to discharge itself so long as his father had been a mortal”. (p.115) Products of Phylo – Ontogenetic Complexes Phylogenetic development of the surrogate form: Primal Father – Animal Totem – Human Totem – Ideal Christ. FREUD’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Freud’s Analysis Reconstruction of the Primal Scene Pankejeff remembered his parent’s sexual intercourse (vaginal penetration from behind) when he saw their genitals. Displaced memory of Copulation Later Freud posited the possibility that Pankejeff witnessed copulation between animals, then displaced to his parents. Unconscious Repetition and Identification with the Primal Scene Under the influence of the primal scene, Freud thought that the boy concluded that his mother had became ill by what his father did to her. His identification with his mother, meant that he was in her place during the sexual scene. Differentiating Gender Freud thought that during the dream of the window opening wide, the boy had fully understood for the first time – a deferred understanding in dream years after the actual event – that women are sexually different from men. Freud thought that this understanding of anatomical difference is necessary for the condition of femininity. Anal Fixation / Eroticism Caught between his resentment at not being able to experience the passionate ecstasy of his mother and his anxiety at not being able to experience the ecstasy of his father, Pankejeff developed rectal and anal fixations that acted as a central erotogenic zone for representing his insanity and obsessive compulsive disorder. The anus became the organ he identified himself with women and through his intestinal illness he expressed his identification with femininity, as he made use of the content of his intestines (faeces) in its primitive meaning, i.e. as penis inside womb. Repressed / Latent Unconscious Homosexuality Pankejeff’s unconscious homosexuality was confirmation of Freud’s views of the “universal occurrence of bisexuality” and the ‘inverted’ or ‘negative’ Oedipus complex. The dream signified to Freud that the wish he longed from his father, to be penetrated and this filled him with horror and he repressed the impulse. Religion enabled him to bear witness to his love of his father and he was not haunted by a sense of guilt, as the son’s love of the father was religiously sanctioned. In this way he drained off his sexual current which had taken the form of unconscious homosexuality. FREUD’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Freud’s Analysis Repressed Psychosexual Development causing Neurosis. The sister’s seduction forced him into a passive role and gave him a passive sexual aim. Under the influence of this experience, he “pursued a path from his sister via his Nanya to his father – from a passive attitude towards women to the same attitude towards men.” (1918, p. 27) Sexual impulses and desires were viewed as socially unacceptable the boys parents, nurse and governess made the direct satisfaction of his sexual desires too hard for him. Instead of normal psychosexual development, infantile neurosis resulted from the repression of his sexual desires. Castration Freud seems to have highlighted the extremely ambivalent attitude that the Wolf Man had to castration and Freud himself says some ambiguous things about whether or not castration had been recognised. “We are already acquainted with the attitude which our patient first adopted to the problem of castration. He rejected castration and held to his theory of intercourse by the anus. When I speak of his having rejected it, the first meaning of the phrase is that he would have nothing to do with it, in the sense of having repressed it. This really involved no judgement upon the question of its existence, but it was the same as if it did not exist.” (Freud, 1918, p.84) Religious Sublimation The boy’s mother and nurse tried to educate him into the Christian faith. Their efforts were successful in making him into a pious person, but they contributed to his sexual repression, to the arrest of his psychosexual development and to formation of an obsessional neurosis reflected in blasphemous thoughts and compulsive acts. Refusal and Denial of the Feminine Dimension Pankejeff’s mother’s femininity was rejected and her pious nature was emphasised, because of the fact that femininity tends to produce passivity. His rejecting and refusal of the feminine dimension, meant that representations of maternal sexuality had to be pushed into the background. Repudiating the feminine sphere was an expression of his ego’s resistance against the thrust of sexual drives and it allowed quantities of de-fused libidinal excitation to emerge. In short, the denial of the feminine dimension brought negativity into the analysis. FREUD’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Freud’s Analysis • Pankejeff’s Transference to Freud • Pankejeff’s relationship with Freud was filtered through the organisation of his repeating early life relationship patterns. In his transferences to Freud, he expressed unmet developmental needs for mirroring and for an idealized self-object. He had a passive attitude of obliging apathy towards Freud – perhaps perceived as the Wolf Man – and seemed to long for experiences of idealization and mirroring and a relationship in which his narcissistic needs could be satisfied. The ‘passive’ or ‘negative’ transference was expressed in Pankejeff’s submissiveness after an interruption imposed by Freud and experienced by him as not having any choice in the matter, i.e. Freud being controlling. • Freud’s Counter-Transference • Freud was mirroring Pankejeff’s repetitive transferences and must have responded to his narcissistic longings by providing opportunities for idealizing transferences, but Pankejeff had resistances to working through the characteristics of his desired ‘good’ objects. The development of a healthy sense of self depends on the consistent availability of good self-objects, but Pankejeff’s lack of good internal objects had led to his depression and apathy that must have frustrated Freud. The analysis led Freud to develop a negative counter-transference towards his patient, which developed as a backlash effect of Pankejeff’s excessively passive transference. • Deviations of Technique and the Boundaries of the Psychoanalyst – Patient relationship, • or an Unobjectionable Positive Transference? • Setting a forced termination • Treating Pankejeff for free • Raising Money for his patient’s support • Educating Pankejeff about his theories • Giving explicit advice to the patient on how to live his life • Sharing personal confidences with the patient • Making indiscreet remarks about other patients and professional colleagues • Buirski, P. & Haglund, P. (1998) The Wolf Man’s Subjective Experience of His Treatment with Freud. • Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol. 15, Issue 1, pp.49-62. • Langs, R.J. (1972) ‘The Misalliance Dimension of the Case of the Wolf Man’, in Kanzer, M. & Glenn, J. (1980) • Freud and his Patients. Aronson, New York. FREUD’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Object Relations Loss of Attachments / Object-ties Pankejeff experienced significant turmoil and depression in his late teens as a result of the loss of his sister who committed suicide in 1906, his father who took an overdose in 1907 and his uncle who died in 1909. The loss of family members meant that the soothing, idealizing and affirming functions that they might have provided, was gone, and in any case their care of him had been inconsistent and inadequate when they were alive. His unresolved grief over the death of important people in his life, was evidence of his ‘emotional isolation’ and ‘abandonment’ during his childhood. Neither his mother nor his father functioned as available attuned self-objects, responsive to his emotional needs. Their object-ties (attachments) to him did not support the development of his ‘self-regulatory’ capacities and his object relations with them were not ones in which his overwhelming affects could be contained. Sister His relationship with his sister was contaminated by ‘incestuous’ experiences which he felt were never resolved. He claimed that his ‘sister complex’ and its negative effects “ruined his life.” (Obholzer, 1982, p.37) Mother His relationship with his mother was inconsistent and distant and she was grief stricken by the loss of her daughter and husband. When they died, its unlikely she would have been available to provide an attuned response to her son’s grief. Father His father was the one he admired and wished to please, however during childhood his father preferred his sister Anna. After Anna’s death, Pankejeff attempted a ‘rapprochement’ with his father, but the effort failed due to the “devastating influence of ambivalence.” (Pankejeff, 1971, p.38) Freud When Pankejeff met Freud in 1910, his inner resources were depleted, as the deficiency of his ‘good internal objects’ derived from his chronic experiences of loss, the repair of which could no longer be salvaged in real life with his primary deceased love objects. OBJECT RELATIONS
Development of Psychoanalytic Theories • Freud used the Wolf Man case to demonstrate the lasting neurotic impact of conflicted infantile sexuality. • The wolf dream was used in the development of Freud's Dream theories and the case became clinical material Freud used to prove the validity of his theory of ‘infantile sexuality’ and the interconnections between psychoanalytic concepts of incorporation, identification, formation of the ego-ideal, the sense of guilt, pathological states of depression and the part played in neurosis by ‘primary feminine impulses’. (Freud, 1918, p.6) • The case history is noteworthy for having brought to attention psychodynamics phenomena: • Sexual Impulses and Desires Conflicted Infantile Sexuality • The Primal Scene (parents having sex, vaginal penetration from behind) • Trauma arising from a manifest Drama Animal Phobia [Fear of the Father] • Panic Attacks Deficient Impulse Control • Early oral organization of the libido Primary feminine impulses • Unconscious Castration Complex Repression and Vicissitudes of Libido (sexual energy) • Psychosexual Development Regression, Repetition and Deferred effects/understanding. • Sublimation Trauma arising from Anxiety Dreams • Incorporation Identification • Ego-Ideal Guilt • Depression Sadomasochism, Anal Eroticism. • Erotogenic Zones of the Body: Mouth, Nose, Eyes, Ears, Vagina, Anus. • Infantile Neurosis, Obsessional Neurosis Compulsive Repeating Rituals • Phantasies and Hallucinations Repressed, Forgotten, Remembered, Reconstructed, or False Memories. • Traditional Freudian beliefs that were demonstrated by the Wolf Man case: • Recovered, Adapted or False Memories. • Repression explains why early experiences are inaccessible. • Dredging up repressed traumas is the ‘royal road’ to cure. • Suggestion • Sexual experiences, thoughts and phantasies are uniquely pathogenic. • Contemporary behaviours and dreams, once symbolically decoded, can reliably indicate the reality of otherwise • unknown events. DEVELOPMENT OF PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY
Seduction Theory - Origins of Obsessional Neurosis • Freud's Seduction Theory was a hypothesis posited in the mid 1890s that he believed provided the solution to the origins of hysteria and obsessional neurosis. According to the theory, • a repressed memory of an early childhood sexual abuse or molestation experience, • was the essential ‘precondition’ for hysterical or obsessional symptoms. • Applied to the Wolf Man case, Anna Pankejeff’s sexual seduction of her younger brother was not a fantasy. The boy’s older cousin provided corroborating evidence in support of the boys memories of his sister’s sexual seductions. • Conflict between Pleasure and Reality • Conflict between the Pleasure Principle: memories of his sister enjoying playing with genitals and his parents enjoying animal like sex; • and the Reality Principle: memories of his Pious mother and nurse forbidding him to play with his penis. • Phantasy • Freud tried to work out what were the boy’s real memory traces and what were his phantasies. Had some early experiences been too difficult for the boy to comprehend at the time of actually occurring and had the boys later dreams and phantasies been attempts to understand earlier traumatic experiences. Had real past memories fragmented, displaced, condensed or conflated themselves or merged with others and with later memories and phantasies. • After-Revision - Deferred Action • It was also the Wolf Man case that demonstrated Freud’s concepts of 'after-revision' or 'deferred action'. The primal scene is grasped by after-revision and interpreted by the child some time later than his original observation of it, at a time when he can symbolically put it into words and understand its meaning. SEDUCTION THEORY PHANTASY AFTER-VISION, DEFFERED ACTION
Lacan’s Analysis of the Wolf Man “The exceptional importance of this case in Freud’s work is to show that it is in relation to the real, that the level of phantasy functions. The real supports the phantasy, the phantasy protects the real.” (Lacan, 1977, p.41) Lacandiscusses the Wolf Man case in his essay Tuche and Automton, where he considers what the ‘real’ is that lies behind the boy’s passive-aggressive fantasies and his obsessive compulsive rituals, he decides the real was the seduction by the sister. Incorporation of Contradictory Demands The mechanism of incorporation, where ‘contradictory’ demands in the boy’s environment, e.g. the expression of sexual desire is bad and at the same time acts of animal like sexual intercourse are enjoyed, produce conditions in which his as yet unformulated desire can be neither expressed or extinguished. Desire maintained in the Symbolic The boys desire was included and maintained in his psyche through a symbolic structure that denied its existence and refused its articulation. Silenced by the signifying network of his family and society, a gap opened in his psyche like a traumatic wound and drew future symbolisation into its orbit of failed expression. It is only where meaning is avoided or broken or where there is an uncanny sense that something remains to be said, that the symbolic structure is glimpsed. Psychotic Hallucination Lacanthought the Wolf Man had a Psychotic structure and although it was not made apparent whilst in analysis with Freud, Lacan finds evidence of the structure in a childhood hallucination recorded by Freud, 1918, p.85-86: “When I was five years old I was playing in the garden near my nurse and carving with my pocket-knife in the bark of one of the walnut-tress that comes into my dream. Suddenly to my unspeakable terror I noticed I had cut through the little finger of my hand, so that it was only hanging on by its skin. I felt no pain but great fear and did not say anything to my nurse who was only a few paces distant, but I sank down on the nearest seat and sat incapable of casting another glance at my finger. At last I calmed down, took a look at the finger and saw that it was entirely uninjured.” Refusal What interested Lacan was not the hallucination the boy had, but the fact that he did not tell it to his nurse Nanya whom he usually told everything to. This is for Lacan a sign that the boy’s experience was radically ‘refused’ access to the symbolic. Lacansaw the Wolf Man case as a prime example of Freud’s concept of denial and his concept of negation or refusal to the symbolic order. JACQUES LACAN’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Serge Leclaire’s Analysis of the Wolf Man The Elements at Play in a Psychoanalysis (On The Wolf Man) Serge Leclaire (1924–1994) was a French psychoanalyst analyzed by Jacques Lacan who became known as the first French Lacanian. Leclaire’s essay, ‘The Elements at Play in a Psychoanalysis (On The Wolf Man)’ examines Freud’s Wolf Man case. Relationship between Desire and Castration Signifying Chains of Opening and of Castration Leclaire identifies two major ‘Chains of Signifiers’ in the Wolf Man case: Opening - Erotogenic Zones Opening ‘links’ the opening of the window in the seven white wolves dream, to the opening or awakening of a sensitive zone of the body, to the opening of the memory of the primal scene, i.e. the boys eyes opened to see the parents having sex. Opening has further signifying links to the terror the boy experienced at the sight of a butterfly opening and closing its wings, and to the body’s openings – ‘erotogenic zones’: the mouth, nose, eyes, ears, vagina and anus. Leclaire specifies that the ‘opening’ at stake “is not essentially the movement in its recordable materiality”, but an “experience of pleasure or displeasure, an ungraspable difference apprehended at the very moment of its dissipation. The very experience of this ‘the same - not the same’ that one discovers in the final analysis when one interrogates the truth of desire.” (Leclaire, 1965, p.17) Tearing Leclaire reads the notion of tearing in the boy’s dream of a man who tears the wings of a wasp, in the hallucination of the cut finger, and the tearing of the ‘veil’ that separates him from the world when he is able to pass stool following an enema. Each of these examples in the signifying chain articulates the logic of the boy’s phantasy, which relates to a dream, a significant past event, a symptom and an erotogenic zone. SERGE LECLAIRE’S ANALYSIS OF THE WOLF MAN
Criticisms Psychiatrists and psychoanalysts who read Freud's accounts of his own case histories, often express a yearning for some basic facts to help them find their way through the mazes of dream, fantasy and speculation. The main and justified criticism is that Freud was selective in what he identified and ‘extracted’ from Pankejeff’s symptoms those features that confirmed his theory of Infantile Sexuality. He insisted on imposing his own theoretical formulations on Pankejeff’s childhood experience and in doing so, Freud overlooked Pankejeff’s grief and depression. The analysis was characterised by resistance and misrecognition and it became a locus of considerable critical work with psychoanalytic reinterpretations on one side trying to repair or deny the problematic analysis, and on the other side critics using it as a focus to attack Freudian psychoanalytic method and theory. Dr. Anna Freud Freud’s daughter Anna Freud uncritically accepted the success of the Wolf Man treatment. Dr. Melanie Klein (Object Relations) Melanie Klein and members of the British Independent Group of psychoanalysts were silent as to the full implications of the incomplete analysis. Dr. Jacques Lacan (Lacanian Analysis) In 1951 Lacan began to give private lectures based on readings of some of Freud's case histories: Dora, the Rat Man and the Wolf Man. He devoted his unpublished seminar from 1951 to the Wolf Man as it was this case that enabled Lacan to focus on language as the cipher of the subject. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari Critics of the Freudian enterprise who have used the Wolf Man study as a challenge to psychoanalytic assumptions include Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1987) who find Freud’s interpretations overly reductive and explore instead the signifying multiplicity of wolves. Frank Sulloway and Stanley Fish More hostile reactions to the perceived failure of the treatment include commentary by Frank Sulloway (1999) and Stanley Fish (1999). CRITICISMS
Repression and Recovered (or Reconstructed) Memories - Convincing? Freud’s analysis of the Wolf Man was notoriously problematic, with this patient resisting psychoanalytic interpretation and requiring attention from its practitioners for the duration of his long life. The material and reconstruction of material is only convincing in so far as a reader is already familiar with psychoanalysis. In other words, for non-psychoanalytic people reading the case from outside of psychoanalysis may seem ridiculous. Reconstructed Memories as a Theoretical Confirmatory Function Freud did lay claim to an ability to unearth early memories through psychoanalytic treatment. The Wolf Man’s alleged presence at a parental ‘primal scene’ served as a typically dramatic ‘confirmatory function’ in Freud’s theory, but the patient himself later declared the ‘reconstructed scene’ to have been Freud’s invention. (Obholzer, 1982) Duration and Timing of the Treatment Once Pankejeff’s analysis began to work with any success, he became "unassailably entrenched behind an attitude of obliging apathy." (Freud, 1918) When Freud realized his patient’s growing dependency upon the treatment, he took the drastic measure of setting an irrevocable fixed date for terminating treatment. Reacting to the pressure of a deadline, Pankejeff lessened his resistance and came forth with a flood of material. The question of timing had implications for later psychoanalytic theories of timing and the beginning and ending analysis developed by Lacan. Hypochondria (Fixed Idea) and Paranoia Four years after the termination of his second analysis with Freud, Pankejeff then aged 38, developed a hypochondriacal preoccupation with a supposed injury to his nose by electrolysis. This lasted 3 years and led to a period of 5 months further analysis by Ruth Mack Brunswick. Brunswick writes, “It was typical for those cases known as the hypochondriacal type of paranoia.” (Brunswick, 1973) Psychoanalytic Dependency Freud published the case in 1918 where he claimed to have cured SergueïPankejev completely, freeing him of all of his fears and obsessions. However, the status of his cure is debatable, as for nearly 70 years Pankejev was in and out of analysis with his condition worsening, until Freud's death. Wolf Man’s engagement with, dependence on and resistance to psychoanalysis CONCLUSION
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