1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Studies on Dysphoria The False Accord in the Divine Symphony

By Marion M. Oliner Copyright 2019
    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalytic Studies on Dysphoria: The False Accord in the Divine Symphony depicts the profound dysphoria afflicting certain individuals, and includes the author's own personal experience of this as a German Jewish child during the Holocaust. Marion M. Oliner explores the impact of catastrophic events on the lives of individuals and their descendants from a broadly psychoanalytic perspective.

    The book focuses on the interplay between the experience and the unconscious meaning attributed to the trauma, and the ways in which patients may feel guilt, and blame themselves for the events and effects of their trauma. Drawing on the work of Freud and Winnicott, and with emphasis on the traumas suffered during the Second World War, Oliner offers new ways of understanding how resistant to treatment such traumas can be, and how the analyst can understand the experiences. The chapters span the evolution undergone in the nearly four decades of practice by the author. The book references a range of works including some taken from the German and French psychoanalytic literature, some never published in English. Taken together they aim at keeping the vitality of psychoanalysis without idealization, while discarding concepts whose essence is static, and therefore unhelpful.

    Psychoanalytic Studies on Dysphoria will appeal to psychoanalysts as well as other mental health professionals working with self-defeating behavior as a result of trauma.

    Acknowledgement; Preface; Series editor's preface; L’Héautontimorouménos (The Executioner of Oneself) by Charles Baudelaire; Introduction Chapter One: Hysterical features among children of survivors Chapter Two: The Nazi Hunter Chapter Three: On the difficulty of hating one’s enemy Chapter Four: The root of war is fear: the rest is history Chapter Five: Life is not a dream: the importance of being real Chapter Six: Further explorations of Winnicott’s "use of the object" Chapter Seven: The meaning of the frame: neither subject nor object


    Marion M. Oliner is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, USA. She is a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association, the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis and the Metropolitan Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

    "Marion Oliner is well positioned to make a significant contribution to the growing literature on trauma and so called post-traumatic stress disorders. Herself the victim of severe trauma during the second world war which analysis helped her overcome, she deepens the understanding of unconscious trans-generational transmission. She is sensitive to the interplay between real events and their unconscious reverberations. The role of aggression both outwards and self-directed is elaborated. She follows the changes in recall which follow trauma and adds new insights on the role of unconscious guilt and omnipotence which modify with time the representation of trauma. Finally, she adds very perceptive insights to the role that sleeping and dreaming play in the assimilation of trauma. Mental health professionals at all level of training will benefit from this book."―Francis Baudry, Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Institute

    "An extraordinary collection of psychoanalytic essays by Marion Oliner, written between 1982 to 2018, is presented in this book. The essays encompass a broad range of clinical and theoretical topics all of which are indelibly influenced by both psychic trauma and the reality of external trauma. Quoting Baudelaire ‘I am the limb and the wheel and the victim and the executioner!’, Oliner describes the complexities of self and object representations and the external object relations of many traumatized persons. This book, enriched by the author’s own traumatic life experience, expands understanding and knowledge, and inspires further reflection and inquiry."―Harold P. Blum, President, Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund; Training and Supervising Analyst, Institute for Psychoanalytic Education, affiliated with NYU School of Medicine; Former Editor, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association

    "In Psychoanalytic Studies on Dysphoria: The False Accord in the Divine Symphony, Marion Oliner uses a dramatic but evocative line from Baudelaire to title a collection of her articles, some of which not been available in English before now. They are all concerned with individuals who react to trauma by attacking and thwarting themselves. She focuses, among other things, on the distinction between the experience and the unconscious meaning of the experience to the individual. Her comments are logical and clarifying, particularly when she discusses the importance of Winnicott’s assertion concerning the megalomania underlying this self-sabotage."―Gail S. Reed, Honorary Member, New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute; Training Analyst, Contemporary Freudian Society; Former Member and Training Analyst and Founder, Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute