By Pentti Ikonen

'This very important paintings has turn into a vintage in Finnish psychoanalytic considering. it truly is one of many cornerstones within the education of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in our kingdom. The authors' deep figuring out has clarified Freud's ultimate drive-instinct thought including very important additions which are a good assist in integrating it with item relatives theory.'- Olavi Hamalainen, President, Finnish Psychoanalytical Institute

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Extra resources for Thanatos, Shame and Other Essays

Sample text

Freud tried to find support for his assumption of the existence of a death instinct in biology and, in particular, in studies concerning the preconditions of the life and death of unicellular organisms. He came to the conclusion that biology, though it failed to support the assumption of a death instinct, did not contradict this assumption, either. Thus he felt that he was free to apply this assumption to the field of psychology and leave biology aside. He quoted Plato, whose philosophical views of the character of life were akin to his own biological speculations.

Freud mentions at least the following: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● protective shield against stimuli; repetition; aggression and destruction; helping the libido towards satisfaction; masochism and sadism; binding through a counter-cathexis; destructiveness of the superego; a negative therapeutic reaction; negation. We will return below to these vicissitudes of Thanatos described by Freud, when we seek to consider how our notion of Thanatos works in clinical contexts and interpretationally. It should be noted that Thanatos never manifests itself alone.

The repetition was meant to bind, he felt, the state of narcissistic excitation of a kind caused by either an external or an internal stimulus. Bound energy can then be handled by various psychic means, just as any other mental contents. The coming into existence of an unbound narcissistic excitation will be counteracted by (1) the shield of protection against stimuli to a certain extent; (2) a state of preparedness, or an anticipatory fear, mobilizing countercathexis (mental contents) capable of binding such excitement; and (3) a simultaneous physical injury, the psychic experiencing of which will bind narcissistic libidinal energy.

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