The development of different selves on the basis of leading maternal affects: Metatheoretical, clinical and technical reflections

  • In this article I will discuss, departing from the usual disintegration of the newborn’s experiences, how one can model the integration of different forms of memory, sensory channels, and mode of representation of these early experiences. Based on the inborn semiotics of the affect system, I pursue the idea that the affect expression of the mother comprises the organizational nucleus of the child’s future personality, and that the representational format of the very young child comprises the mother’s faces and vocalizations. In the aftermath of parental projections, the baby is confronted with plenty of dominant affect expressions, for example contempt, disgust, anger, and fear. These act in contrast to happiness in terms of guiding the affect expression of secure attachment. Following Tomkins, I call these interaction schemes >emotional scripts< and demonstrate that they are carried on into adulthood. Here I launch and discuss four clinical vignettes that can be characterized as being governed by such an >emotional script.< I try to show that these scripts can be redrafted if the governing affect can be exchanged with a different one. These considerations have led to a revised form of the procedure called >splitting.< In addition, implications for treatment techniques are depicted.

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Author:Rainer Krause
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30 (No. 1, 2021), pp. 022-033.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2021
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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