The Hate that cures. Conflict resolution in modern psychoanalytic school

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Title: The Hate that cures. Conflict resolution in modern psychoanalytic school
Year: 2016
Authors: Ekaterina Vladimirovna Mikhailova Joan Coll
Abstract:

The paper will trace some ideas about conflict resolution. Unnecessary aggression in organizations leads to discord, lack of cooperation and the loss of a common goal. Leaders, managers and consultants need to understand the phenomenon of aggression and know techniques of working with it, thereby expanding and strengthening the ethical standards of the organization. In the field of business consulting, especially in topics related to the study of aggression in group coaching undeservedly little attention is paid to modern psychoanalytic school approach. Ideas developed within the school can be effectively used in psychodynamic business counseling. Very often, when faced with aggression, we are faced with the manifestations of a person‘s rigidity or situations from the past that are repeated. Pulling our energy on something to cope with the conflict within us or outside, this process has a significant impact on business performance and the performance of the team.
We can use conflict situations to understand our colleagues, subordinates or an opponent in the negotiations better. The expression of thoughts and feelings in the business is desirable. Leaders are specially trained to take feedback from different sources and to deal with the anger directed at them.
Working and dealing with emotions is one of the aims of coaching and therapy. We can see the writings on aggression in management book rather rarely. Levinson points out the difficulties that many executives have in handling their own and other’s aggression. Zalezhnik mentioned that leader must be tolerant to the expression of feelings, including love and hate. As a father figure, he has to accept duality and encourage verbal expression. The frustrations resulting from poorly directed aggression represent a potential tool for success rather than a sign of failure. These ideas similar those offered by Hyman Spotnitz, who encouraged the patient to express feelings, especially negative ones.
Modern Psychoanalysis School is based on Hyman Spotnitz’s ideas. The very focus on the unconscious resistance and expressing aggression is considered to be more important than the means of overcoming it. The school describes methods and techniques of treating patients with severe mental disorders. The transference that these patients develop is largely enacted non-verbally in their behavior, symptoms, symbolic communications and, importantly, the transmission of feeling states, otherwise known as induced feelings. We quite often face abnormalities in the emotional communication among the leaders, manipulation and other abuses of power. For coaches it may be a signal about the feasibility of using some ideas from the field of psychotherapy. Agression is usually directed towards the Self in order to protect the Object.
Compared to more traditional psychoanalytic views regarding conflict solution Spotnitz’s work is special because it deals with aggression head-on. Unlike classical psychoanalysis, Modern Analysis (MA) delves unreservedly into the realms of the preoedipal phases of personality development, right to where the basic, fundamental narcissistic injury took place. These patients (schizophrenics, borderline personality disorders, and the like) accumulate a phenomenal amount of aggression, essentially directed toward themselves. The only way to possibly deal with it is by letting it slowly be directed toward the therapeutic object, thus allowing the narcissistic defense (fusion/confusion patient-object) to slowly give way to a more manageable object transference. This arduous process entails a considerable amount of aggression building up in the therapist him/herself (narcissistic countertransference), the therapeutic use of which ("The Hate that Cures") requires specific training, as well as use of technique. Spotnitz's MA could therefore also stand for Mastery in Aggression.David Belgray wrote that modern psychoanalytic handling of aggression focuses on the importance of the patient expressing aggressive feelings verbally in the treatment. The resolution of one’s resistance to such expression facilitates alleviation of symptoms; it also brings the aggression to the surface so the patient can experience it fully and learn to utilize it more constructively.
The findings of modern psychoanalysis have contributed new insights into both the dynamics of emotional illnesses and the mechanisms through which the analytic process cures these conditions. It describes:
-ways that each individual processes destructive impulsivity;
- transference repetition including not only experiences from the oedipal stage of development but also from the first two years of life as well as the prenatal period;
- (the) use of variations in technique as necessary to aid in the understanding of individual’s dynamic and to resolve resistance to personality maturation.
The most valuable implementation of this theory is pointing out that releasing negative feelings of employees provides for a tendency to cooperate in rational problem solving. Spotnitz was also one of the first psychoanalysts to advocate the use of groups. Even well adapted people regress in the face of pressure from the environment and in groups. Spotnitz's approach to the analyst's interventions is primarily intended to provide an emotional-maturational communication to the patient rather than to promote their intellectual insights. Ormont wrote about the importance of being the target of verbal accusations, but he stressed that the consultant should not be just an object of sadistic impulses. A coach has to teach group members to differentiate attacks from expressing negative feeling
Such techniques as joining, mirroring, сonsulting with the patient, object-oriented questions, and turning aggression on to consultant help group members to be more open and lead to more mature communication.
Object-oriented questions –«You do not say anything. You just specify the object-oriented questions. You are not trying to change your client in any way. You just help him to be yourself, you ask questions, object-oriented, and the client feels that you are not trying to change him. He is all right when he is with you. What is he afraid of - it's when you try to change him»
Consulting with the client: What intervention should I take?
Turning aggression on to the consultant - What do I do that makes you feel my support? What do I do instead of support? Right now what I did, that you have decided to solve the problem by attacking the group member?
When a resistance is worked on effectively, it helps the client to release a stream of threats, insults and verbal abuse. The position of the coach under such bombardment is supposed to be the following: words do not hurt me, they are acceptable.
When consultant offers himself as a target for verbal hostility, the client (or group) will begin to recognize that negative feelings and words are acceptable. It leads to the release of stress. Spotnitz stated Superego to be the original recipient of frustration - aggression from outside, which is then redirected to the Ego. In this case, we see narcissistic defense coming from the dear the fear of destroying the object. The attacks on the analyst in the therapy are viewed as a long-awaited projection of what used to be poisonous introjects.
In combined coaching we can use the synergy of different methods in order to resolve narcissistic transference. Marta Gunzburg in her article wrote that combined therapy quickly increases transference feelings. «Combined individual and group therapy creates a stimulating environment eliciting the depth of transference feelings and generating multiple therapeutic opportunities to experience and work through transference resistance». We can prepare an environment that makes the expression of a number of senses associated with the transfer and thereby generates multiple therapeutic possibilities. The synergy of 3 modalities does not only stimulate the senses, but also allows you to adjust to them. The rhythmic interaction of different modulates setting, reduces the frequency of stress for the Ego.
Working with aggression in groups, we also focus on our countertransference. Observations show that own feelings give immense help in the counseling work, and sometimes radically change the meaning of communication.
An example of work with aggression will be presented and discussed during the presentation. The case in this paper will address aggression in student’s group from two directions: first, the aggression expressed by staff toward a faculty (transference); second, the resulting feelings experienced by the faculty. To summarize, the focus of this presentation is a deeper understanding of techniques for working with aggression and expressing the utility of anger.

References
1) Spotnitz's,H .Modern Psychoanalysis of the Schizophrenic Patient: Theory of The Technique, Grune & Stratton 1969,YBK Publishers 2004, ISBN 0-9703923-6-2

2) Spotnitz, H. Psychotherapy of Preoedipal Conditions: Schizophrenia and Severe Character Disorders,, 1976, 1995, ISBN 978-1-56821-633-1

3) Spotnitz, H. (1985). Countertransference: Resistance and Therapeutic Leverage. Modern
Psychoanalysis of the Schizophrenic Patient (pp. 218-245). New York: Human Sciences Press.

4) Spotnitz, H. (1976). Dealing with aggressive impulses. Psychotherapy of preoedipal
conditions (pp. 35-42). New Jersey: Jason Aronson.

5) Spotnitz, H. (1976). The modern group approach. Psychotherapy of Preoedipal Conditions (pp.
153-163). New Jersey: Jason Aronson

6) Spotnitz, H. (1976). Dealing with agression in groups. In Psychotherapy of Preoedipal
Conditions. (pp. 69-75). New Jersey: Jason Aronson.

7) Gunzburg, M (1995) The use of combined individual, Group & Marital therapy to resolve the narcissistic transference.// International journal of group psychotherapy.

8) Belgray, D. (1999) Managing Aggression in Organization //Modern group. Journal of the Center for the Advancement of Group Studies.

9) Ormont, L. (1957) The Preparation of Patients for Group Psychoanalysis

10) Liegner, E. (1980). The Hate that Cures: The Psychological Reversibility of Schizophrenia.
Modern Psychoanalysis. 5 (I), (pp. 5-77)
11) Kernberg O. (1998) Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations

Keywords: Modern Psychoanalyses, Aggression, Unconscious resistance, destructive impulsivity, negative feeling, emotional-maturational communication
Language: English


Date: 06/24/2016
Location: Granada, Spain
Name of Event/Conference: 33rd ISPSO Annual Meeting
Sponsoring Organization: ISPSO

Submitted by:
Ekaterina Vladimirovna Mikhailova

ekaterina@modernpsy.ru
Corresponding author: Ekaterina Vladimirovna Mikhailova

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