Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and the Self by Harry GuntripWhile reading this I thought Harry Guntrip (coolest name ever?) is too long-winded, since he approaches the same thing from so many directions. But this book is very didactic with great case material framed by concepts of Klein/Winnicott/Fairbairn. Heres my summary:
The main idea here is that neurosis, depression, etc are epiphenomenon arising from a more fundamental schizoid core. It sounds exotic but shapes the ego experience of most (all?) humans. The depressive diagnosis (Mans greatest and most consistent self-deception) has people fixing attention on their badness instead of their weakness; given the natural preference to feel strong, there are many barriers to bringing ego-weakness to conscious thought.
Basic ego-weakness leads to reactive behavior that lie open on the surface for all to see. Detachment, obsessional self-mastery, unselfish servicableness to others. We find security by projecting comforting images on the universe. The scientific materialists Iron-chain-of-necessity, or the religious believers father-image.
Since ancient Greece, antisocial instincts have been diagnosed as epidemic in human nature. We convincingly rationalize a more alarming fear, a flight from life at deep mental levels induced by failure of ego formation, and an inadequacy (felt or factual) in coping with life. Libidinal and anti-libidinal drives react differently in the face of an uncaring and scary outside world, and the patterns of the central ego forms in an adversarial reaction.
No-one can avoid it, so personalities are rife with rationalized self-assertiveness, subtle exhibitionism, disguised boasting, competitiveness/avoidance of competition, need of praise/reassurance/approval, and safety-first security seeking. The therapeautic process is to relax mental fortifications and make room for a real person among the collection of reactions to impingements.
Anyways, of the analysts Ive read so far, I think Id most like to have a beer with Guntrip!
Schizoid Phenomena, Object-relations and the Self
Harry Guntrip was a psychologist known for his major contributions to object relations theory. He was a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a psychotherapist and lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry, Leeds University, and also a Congregationalist minister. He was described by John D. Sutherland as "one of the psychoanalytic immortals". Schizoid Phenomena, Object Relations and the Self. Harry Guntrip. Based on a series of clinical studies of schizoid problems, this book is a sequel to Harry Guntrip's theoretical study of the emergence of the schizoid problem, Personality Structure and Human Interaction
N o part o f this publication m a y be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, p h o t o c o p y i n g , recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission o f the publisher. I t is a pleasure also to acknowledge my debt to Dicks' successors as Head of the Leeds University Department of Psychiatry.
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Henry James Samuel Guntrip 29 May — was a British psychologist known for his major contributions to object relations theory or school of Freudian thought. He was described by Dr. Jock Sutherland as "one of the psychoanalytic immortals". Guntrip's Personality Structure and Human Interaction organized, critiqued and synthesized the theories of major psychoanalysts, including Melanie Klein , Ronald Fairbairn , D. Winnicott , and Michael Balint.