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43. Истолкование бессознательного в психоаналитической школе Г. Аммона с обращением особого внимания на "Я" и динамику внутригрупповых отношений Ж. Поль (The 'Unconscious', as Conceived of in Gunter Amnions Psychoanalytic School Under Special Consideration of Ego and Droup Dynamics. Jan Pohl)

43. The 'Unconscious', as Conceived of in Gunter Amnions Psychoanalytic School Under Special Consideration of Ego and Droup Dynamics. Jan Pohl

Deutsche Akademie fur Psychoanalyse, Munich, FRG

In 1846, С. G. Carus defined psychology as the science dealing with the development of the psyche from a state of unconsciousness to a state of consciousness. Fertilization of the primal cell brings about the awakening of the individual life, and the unconscious laid down in this cell develops itself. After birth, this developing unconscious goes on to steer the growth of the individual and its organic functioning. Consciousness develops gradually, but it remains under the influence of the unconscious; the individual periodically returns to the unconscious in the sleeping state and through it he remains in contact with the rest of the world.

In my discussion of our school's work I put forward this conception of the unconscious since it is similar to ours in several decisive aspects.

Freud's discovery of a method of researching the unconscious through the technique of free association corresponded to the theory of the unconscious as a system of repressed contents. He developed this conception according to the theory of his first topic system as a result of his self-analysis and of observations made on hysterical patients.

He identifed the contents of the unconscious as the ideational representatives of the instincts.

Conceiving at its basis a primary instinct activity Freud developed the first theory of the psychic apparatus based upon the oedipal conflict. The instinctual representatives fixated in the unconscious follow the pleasure principle, that is, they aspire to re-establish a perceptual identity through the shortest possible course. For Freud, the unconscious constitutes itself through infantile repression. This conception complies with his understanding of dreams and symptom formation. It is a reaction to unpleasurable stimuli which should be avoided in the interest of the individual's integrity. The constitution of the unconscious as the result of splitting of consciousness is thus prerequisitively bound to a preceding psychic conflict.

Human development is a growing adaptation to a socially defined reality, which is marked by the suppression of animal instincts, that is to say is constituted by their unconscious representatives, especially of the sexual and aggressive instincts. The development of instinctual activity is reached, at most, with increasing ability to divert from instinct to socially higher set aims, corresponding to the concept of sublimation.

Under this aspect the unconscious remains the pool of instinctual impulses which cannot be socialized and must be kept under control in order to guarantee the reality principle; thus, the unconscious has no intrinsic perspective of development.

Besides this theory about the unconscious, which remained valid until the second topic system had been developed, I should like to recall the hypothetical process of primary repression.

Here, Freud undertakes an ontological differentiaion of the unconscious. In the case of primary repression, it is a question of fixation of primary archaic experiences in the unconscious which were never conscious, and which later on are attractive for contents to be secondarily repressed. These primarily repressed constituents function as a type of regressive compliance and render possible a secondary repression, which had been induced by a higher instance.

Thus, the unconscious is an archaic representative of psychic life. Experiences at this level of development have been unconscious from the very beginning. In my opinion, birth, for example, can be compared to such an unconscious and most intensive experience for which the primal fantasies, as the primal scene, castration, and seduction serve as screen memory.

In the framework of the second topic system Freud assumed that the psychic agencies come to the surface and differentiate themselves progressively out of an unconscious system whose roots themselves reach into the biological. Hereby, both the ego as well as the super-ego have an unconscious constituent, corresponding to their origin. "We have found something in the ego itself which is also unconscious and acts like the repressed, that is, manifests strong reactions without becoming conscious. Bringing it to consciousness demands special efforts". (The Ego and the Id)

In "Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety" the ego is described as the source of anxiety. The repression of sexual wishes is no longer seen as the cause of anxiety, but is rather one of the many defense mechanisms of the ego as reaction to anxiety.

As a resultant of the conflict between the demands of the instinctual life and the restrictions of the environment, the ego differentiates itself from the unconscious toward a structure of consciousness. In contrast to this, Hartmann conceived of a primarily given autonomous ego apparatus which constitutes the kernel of a conflict-free ego-sphere.

Hartmann sees the development of the ego as a process of growing defense of instinctual needs through the processes of neutralization, that is to say by sublimation. In Hartmann's view the ego attains a conflict-free "not defensive" activity through a gradual accumulation of neutralized enegry. In his critique of Hartmann Ammon points to the fact that the functions which the ego can unfold in its "secondary autonomy" are stored through a psychic energy defined precisely by its splitting off from instinctual needs. "My understanding of ego development is not primarily the defense of instinctual needs, but rather, the individual's communication precisely over these needs with and in the group. In this sense I conceive of the process of ego development as a growingly creative and constructive unfolding and expansion of the ego functions and of the ego autonomy of the individual and the group".

The central functions of the ego which Ammon describes as constructive aggression and creativity are seen by him as the primary, conflict-free potential of one's person; however, the facilitating environment of the surrounding group is necessary for the successful training and development of this potential.

The history of the unfolding of primarily given ego functions begins in the prenatal stages of the life of the individual and is determined by the communication with the mother and the surrounding group. Psychoanalytic group therapy uncovers the interpersonal activity in the group and its unconscious dynamics in relation to the intrapsychic processes of the individual patients and thus gives opportunity to observe psychic development in its unconscious and conscious constituents. Regression within the group reaches back to primary experience of the unconscious interaction between mother and child, or of the prenatal developmental stages. Group therapy permits the existence of ego-states in which the boundaries between ego^ and non-ego dissolve. Arrrron conceives of the dynamics of such group processes, which are alike to primary processual thinking as a direct portrayal of the earliest form of perception and interaction in the mother-child symbiosis. In these early stages, the child is unable to distinguish between self and non-self; rather it experiences the mother as a part of itself. Psychic mechanisms such as projection and introjection are the first manifestations "of those primarily given ego functions of constructive aggression and creativity which will serve a growingly precise and differentiated delineation between ego and non-ego in the course of the child's development".

The group literally sets the matrix for each psychic development and manifests the specific phases of the group's perception and experiences at different levels of the group process; in this context the group is the unit of all biological, psychic, and social life processes. Group dynamics and ego development are therefore two aspects of one activity which unfolds itself in the process of manifold interpersonal interactions at different conscious and unconscious levels.

Based upon his research of group processes, Ammon recognized destructive aggression to be a vicissitude of the central ego-function of constructive aggression. This is opposed to Freud's assumption of an innate death or destructive instinct. Constructive aggression, which normally comes into play in the primary processual-like mechanisms of unconscious psychic processes as well as in the highly differentiated realm of psychic thought and experience of consciousness, might be suppressed in early childhood by parents and the surrounding group. Constructive aggression, the so-called ad-gredi, loses its object and thus its chances of development. Crippled, it manifests itself in the form of unconscious repetition compulsion and because of extreme annihilation anxiety it must destroy itself and its environment, reproducing the primаrу perceptive identity. This destructiveness regressively aims at the reestablishing of an objectless being-at-one with the mother in the foetal symbiosis.

In normal ego-development constructive aggression serves the process of unfolding life. A mother, who has experienced the primary narcissistic gratification and later sexual attention, possesses primal trust to allow her child to cathect its ad-gredi with libido. At the same time she is able to establish a creative milieu of a reliable family group which allows the experience of regressive processes to the mother in the service of the ego of the infant, though her own defensive activity is lowered.

The creative act of the gradual separation of the infantile ego from the mother to gain an identity of one's own runs parallel to the creative mother-child symbiosis in pregnancy and to the mother's ability to separate herself from the child in the process of birth and to the succeeding steps towards an identity of her own and of the child. If the ad-gredi is at first regressively aimed at the mother as mode of life, the maternal function consists in helping the child to turn this regressive behaviour into constructive aggression, corresponding to the group matrix in regard to the child's development.

This process is identical to the libidinal cathexis of the ego and its functions. The primary ego function of aggression is at the same time a libidinous mode of getting satisfaction. Ego development as a process of creative identity expansion is an expression of flexible ego boundaries which correspond to the mutual unconscious and conscious communication of internalized group boundaries. In entering into tertiary processes of thinking and experiencing, as Ammоn described it in the frame of his research on creativity, it is possible to experience in a playful way narcissistic modes of satisfaction up to genital sexuality as ego-functions, as well as the rich scale of unconscious and conscious modes of thinking and experiencing. This development of an individual's psychic structure, that is to say of his modes of thinking, experiencing, and perceiving, as ego-functions to which unconscious and conscious ego-states are open, is bound to the presence of a vital group.

A group constitutes itself with its ability to delineate itself. The integration of the group members takes place with the demarcation of group boundaries. These bundaries furnish a protective milieu and structure this milieu vis-a-vis the unstructured environment. All interaction processes in the group promote the establishment, maintenance, and flexibility of the group boundaries. It is the very place where psychic events become immanent, this is an achievement of the group-ego from the very beginning.

All intrapsychic processes portray such primary group processes. The ego-function of dreaming in the production of group dreams appears precisely with the development of group ego boundaries. The group dream is the manifestation of that primary processual-like symbolizing process of a group ego which begins to distinguish itself from the non-ego of the outside environment, in contrast to an archaic identity diffusion. According to Ammon the appearance of group dreams indicates the stabilizing of group boundaries. The group has thus become an organ which is able to tolerate regressive processes.

The ego function of the dream corresponds to the creative functioning of the group ego boundaries, that is insofar as it is a permeable organ for unconscious processes of perception and insofar as it is able to endow it in the act of dream-work with a secondary processual language.

In this sense Freud's concept of censorship between the agencies of the psychic apparatus is to be understood rather as the pathological equivalent of an ego boundary.

Based upon the theory of the development of a group-ego we may summarize as follows: the individual's unconscious corresponds to an oldsr organization of the ego compared to the psychogenetically younger conscious. Both present constituents of an ego-structure which has undergone a development and differentiation process of its conscious and unconszious ego-functions, insofar as the individual was enabled to develop this ego-structure in the early mother-child symbiosis. Given the boundaries the development of language through the primary symbolizing processes sets in.

By means of projection and identification as primitive psychic defense mechanisms a level of a basic language is established through ersatz portrayals. Its conceptual abstraction in the form of language is the result of differentiated separation from the symbiotic perception of the unconscious; it forms the medium of consciousness.

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