Explorations of Autism: A Psychoanalytic Study

Overview

Explorations in Autism was a turning point in both the understanding of and the clinical approach to autism. The clinical material gradually unveils the geography of the internal mother (which proved crucial for the development of Meltzer's claustrum theory) and allowed him to draft, for the first time in psychoanalysis, a theory of the dimensionality of mental life. The book is a moving journey through the dynamics of the transference-countertransference, revealing what Meltzer calls the essentials of humanity. ...

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Explorations in Autism

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Overview

Explorations in Autism was a turning point in both the understanding of and the clinical approach to autism. The clinical material gradually unveils the geography of the internal mother (which proved crucial for the development of Meltzer's claustrum theory) and allowed him to draft, for the first time in psychoanalysis, a theory of the dimensionality of mental life. The book is a moving journey through the dynamics of the transference-countertransference, revealing what Meltzer calls the essentials of humanity. It should be part of the training of every analyst.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"While we accompany the author on his journey (which he says is more like a traveller’s tale than a scientific report) we can clearly perceive how, alongside the rich and evocative clinical descriptions, a complete picture emerges of certain modalities of mental functioning. These modalities observed in autistic children have a more general scope than in psychopathology and even lead us to rethink certain basic concepts in psychoanalysis. The research recorded in this book allowed Meltzer to come into contact with children who were unable to form an object containing a space to be used in their mental development. Later, using conclusions drawn from this work, Meltzer went on to formulate the aesthetic conflict in a book which pairs with this one: The Apprehension of Beauty”.

"Donald Meltzer’s brilliant lessons supervising my analysis of a post-autistic boy have increased my psychoanalytical instruments for investigating the transference and countertransference: how to observe emotional and behavioural facts during the session (not only verbalizations), and how to seek out my own dream images in order to carry on with the analysis."

"The rigorous exploration reported in this book has shed a totally new light on the subjective experience of autistic children and hence on the primitive developmental phases of every human mind. A new metapsychological model of the psyche stems from the description here of fundamental concepts like primal depression, dismantling, adhesive identity, dimensionality as a parameter of mental functioning. These concepts refer not so much to a theory of conflict as in classical metapsychology, but rather to a theory of gradient which will lead to Meltzer’s theory of the aesthetic object. This book displays brilliantly the creativity of psychoanalytic work applied to a new psychopathological field, both in helping the patients recover their mental health and also in understanding new layers of the human mind."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781855756649
  • Publisher: Karnac Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Series: Harris Meltzer Trust Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Meltzer (1923–2004) is widely known as a psychoanalyst and teacher throughout Europe and South America. He is the author of many works on psychoanalytic theory and practice, including The Psychoanalytical Process, Sexual States of Mind, Explorations in Autism, The Kleinian Development, Dream Life, Studies in Extended Metapsychology, and The Claustrum.

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Table of Contents

Sect. A Theory

I Aims, Scope and Methods of the Investigation Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 3

II The Psychology of Autistic States and of Post-Autistic Mentality Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 6

Sect. B Clinical Findings

Introduction 33

III Autism Proper - Timmy John Bremner Bremner, John Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 35

IV Primal Depression in Autism - John Isca Wittenberg Wittenberg, Isca 56

V Disturbed Geography of the Life-Space in Autism - Barry Doreen Weddell Weddell, Doreen 99

VI The Residual Autistic Condition and its Effect Upon Learning - Piffie Shirley Hoxter Hoxter, Shirley 162

VII Mutism in Autism, Schizophrenia and Manic-Depressive States - the Correlation of Clinical Psycho-pathology and Linguistics Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 192

Sect. C Implications

VIII The Relation of Autism to Obsessional States in General Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 209

IX Dimensionality in Mental Functioning Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 223

X Conclusion Donald Meltzer Meltzer, Donald 239

Bibliography 245

Index 246

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