The Chicago Psychoanalytic Society's
Scientific Presentation


Self-Organization and
Consciousness

January 27, 1998

Northwestern Dental School
240 E. Huron Rm 3380
7:00 pm

Presenter: Virginia C. Barry, M.D.
Discussant: Charles Jaffe, M.D.

This paper attempts to correlate a biologically based model of brain function with a psychoanalytic model of the mind. The neurological model addresses the nature of processing experience in "primary consciousness" and "higher-order consciousness." Psychoanalysts often treat patients with limited ability to reflect on their experiences (i.e. To employ "higher-order" consciousness). The clinical material in this paper describes the repetition compulsions of a patient who required symbiotic adaptations to sustain her self organization. Interpreting the meaning of the behaviors was useless in altering the press for repetition until the analyst became imbricated into the patient's self system. The pressure to reenact rather than to reflect upon this patient's experiences is discussed from the perspectives of a neurological model and a psychanalytic model. Each model is explored with the goal of enhancing this patient's reflective capacities.


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