Posts Tagged ‘psychiatrist’

By Robert W. Firestone, PhD Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 9 seconds.

The Fantasy Bond in Childhood and Intimate Relationships

The human experience can be conceptualized as a series of separation experiences ending with death, the ultimate separation. Each successive separation or movement through life — separating from the mother’s body at birth and later from her breast, beginning to walk, talk, and develop a sense of self, going to school, dating, marrying, and becoming a parent and grandparent—predisposes an individual to anxiety. The basic tenet of my theoretical system is the concept of the fantasy bond: the core defense against separation, and later, death anxiety. The fantasy bond refers to the forming of a fantasy of connection or fusion, originally with the mother or primary caretaker, and later with other family members and romantic partners, in order to compensate for emotional pain and separation anxiety. The illusion offers the child some relief from primal pain, but at the same time, the fantasy processes contribute to various degrees of maladaptation. How people cope with trauma and existential fear, and form defenses, will ultimately determine the course of their emotional lives. Hellmuth Kaiser’s germinal idea that the delusion of fusion represents “universal psychopathology” is analogous to the conceptualization of the fantasy bond as the primary defense mechanism in neurosis (Fierman, 1965). → Read more

By Cari Jean Williams, Ph.D., L.P.C. Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 57 seconds.

Selena is a precocious five-year­ old girl who could not stop sucking her fingers. Her teeth were beginning to protrude. Because she still believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, I was positive that she would be very susceptible to hypnosis.

I asked Selena to “move to the magic chair where kids stop sucking their fingers .” Then , at my request, she named each finger. She respond­ed with, “Bunny  Rabbit,”  “Robin” and other similar titles. I directed her to ask each finger if it liked being sucked. She said, “No.” Then , I asked her to find out what her fingers would rather do instead. After some conver­sation with her fingers, she told me they would rather play dolls, jump rope and do puzzles. → Read more

By Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D. Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 41 seconds.

Our life is what our thoughts make it. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The critical inner voice is made up of a series of negative thoughts and attitudes toward self and others, which is at the core of a person’s maladaptive behavior. It can be conceptualized as the language of a defensive process that is both hostile and cynical. The voice is not limited to cognitions, attitudes, and beliefs; it is also closely associated with varying degrees of anger, sadness, shame, and other primary emotions. It can be thought of as an overlay on the personality that is not natural or harmonious, but rather learned or externally imposed.

The voice is a form of internal communication – usually critical, yet sometimes self-nurturing and self-aggrandizing, but in either case opposed to one’s self interest. It is experienced as though one were being spoken to. It includes attacks such as, “You’re so stupid!” “You’re a failure!” “No one could ever love you.” “You can’t trust anyone.” “They don’t appreciate you.” → Read more