The inseparable nature of love and aggression – otto kernberg

Kernberg began his book by explaining the concept of identity, using various psychoanalysts. Making great use of Erikson, he focused on the difference between identity disorder and identity crisis and their clinical manifestations in personality disorders. Identity clutter; expressed it as a common basic feature seen in severe personality disorders. He described identity crisis as adolescents’ confusion about how their significant others interpret themselves, while he described identity disorganization, the definition of significant others as extremely vague and obscure. He emphasized the lack of “integration”.

He has separated the uses of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy in personality disorders according to the steps, and elaborated on the importance of interpretation and in which parts of the therapy the therapist will use interpretation. He explained the importance of affect in interpretation, explaining the concept of “present unconscious” and how it can be used in personality disorders or neuroses.

He examined the concepts of mentalization-insight-empathy one by one, interpreted the relationship of mindization with the concept of attachment, its use in CBT and its relationship with the unconscious, and showed the distinction in psychodynamic therapies. Against Freud’s interpretation of countertransference as its absolute elimination, Kernberg expressed clinically how countertransference can be used for better communication with the client, and that it is not something that should be avoided as Freud mentioned. He reserved countertransference to be usefully used as adaptive and complementary processes, and showed clinical examples of how complementary identification seen in the relationship with the client could be used with projective identification.

He stated Freud’s chronological studies on the origin of neurobiological aggression in the book and shared Freud’s changing views over time. He stated that the impulse, instinct difference started another era in neurobiological research with Piaget’s conclusion that affects have cognitive content. The activity of individuals with borderline personality disorder in the “Mesolimbic and Amygdala Lateral and Medial” areas was examined, and the importance of Seratonin was mentioned.

He showed how the affect and cognitive characteristics of the Obsessive Personality, Hysterical Personality, and Narcissistic Personalities affect people. He said how the repetitive compulsion can be experienced as a solution or the repetition of the traumatic relationship, from the identification process here, how the unconscious intrapsychic work can disrupt the neurobiological structure of the affective expression, or how the early emotions can be reactivated with psychotherapy. Causes of sadomasochism; forbidden oedipal desires showed the object of addiction as destruction due to unconscious aggression (guilt) in the early period. On aggression, he explained how aggression is interpreted differently by famous analysts, from “Apoptosis” in humans. He stated that self-harm can be interpreted as an intrapsychic struggle between the sadistic object and the masochistic self, and that we can look for a pathological superego in melancholia.

With the experience of the death of Kernberg’s own wife, Yas explained with clinical examples that she is not limited as in Freud’s theory, that normal grief increases the capacity of love for the person, and that a common ego-ideal can be achieved with the person identified with (Smirgel) as in love. He explained Freud’s and Klein’s different definitions of grief and was more sympathetic to Klein’s view. He agrees with Freud that the grieving process will be completed with identification. Factors that limit the capacity to love; described them as masochistic, narcissistic and paranoid features and explained them with Klein’s schizoid-paranoid position.

Barriers to experiencing love; fear of addiction, denial of idealization (from guilt), interpreted as creating a counter-reaction to envy or jealousy. He was convinced that psychoanalysis should be about the problems it faces and whether it should be in universities, and by drawing a roadmap on how this could happen, the supervisor expressed that it should not be oppressive and prejudiced about the duties and a theory.

Focusing on the manifestations of aggression in society, he explained that he disagreed with Freud on religion, based on Freud’s words in his books Totem and Taboo, The Unrest of Civilization, The Future of an Illusion. While explaining the effects of religion and art on people, he especially cared about Winnicott’s ideas in art and included them in his book. He made the distinction between religion and science by including Bion’s 3 Peak Points in his book.

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