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Det Omedvetnas återkomst: En tvärvetenskaplig litteraturstudie i fältet mellan psykoanalys och neurobiologi
Ersta Sköndal University College, St Lukas Educational Institute.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The return of the Unconscious (English)
Abstract [en]

There are differences today amongst psychoanalysts regarding if psychoanalysis should limit itself to being exclusively a hermeneutic discipline or if psychoanalysis should find points of contact with neurobiology. The purpose of this essay is to touch upon the larger issue that creates the different points of view: Can psychoanalysis become enriched by finding points of contact with neurobiology, and should psychoanalysis be regarded as belonging to a broader scientific field than being exclusively a human science? The question at issue is: Can modern neurobiology contribute to a development of the psychoanalytic concepts; compulsion to repeat, transference/countertransference and talking cure? The method used is a literature study. The result shows that: Freud’s theories regarding traumatic compulsion to repeat can be linked with LeDoux’s theory of "emotional memory". Freud’s theory of the death instinct as an explanation to the compulsion to repeat can be replaced by a modern neurobiological theory of "emotional memory". The part of the countertransference that is an emotion transferred from the patient to the analyst can happen with the assistance of mirror neurons through "embodied simulation". This suggests that the phenomenon of the analyst being able to experience the patients emotion in himself does not have to imply that projection or intersubjective pressure have played a part in it. To be able to include this phenomenon in the concepts of transference and countertransference these need to be broadened or revised. It is possible to link and develop Freud’s theory of the talking cure with Deacon’s theory about symbolic communication. The results clinical implications are: Understanding of the traumatic compulsion to repeat as an expression of "emotional memory" demands work with this as an expression of memory processes. Understanding of the transference of emotion in transference/countertransference as possible through reflexive simulation processes, implies that projection or interpersonal pressure should not be preconceived in an emotion transference situation. It also implies that the emotional activation in the analyst should not by necessity be seen as an activation of the analyst’s internal objects together with emotions towards these. Deacon’s theory of symbolic communication implies that the talking cure should be used with awareness of its negative tendencies, visual thinking should not necessarily be considered non-symbolic and focus should be put on multiple ways of communication in the clinical situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
psychoanalysis, neurobiology, compulsion to repeat, trauma, transference, countertransference, talking cure
Keyword [sv]
psykoanalys, neurobiologi, upprepningstvång, trauma, överföring, motöverföring, talkur
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-1752OAI: diva2:561899
Educational program
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-11-02 Created: 2012-10-22 Last updated: 2012-11-02Bibliographically approved

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