Semantic Polarities and Psychopathologies in the Family: Permitted and Forbidden Stories
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The gap between psychotherapeutic practice and clinical theory is ever widening. Therapists still don’t know what role interpersonal relations play in the development of the most common psychopathologies. Valeria Ugazio bridges this gap by examining phobias, obsessive-compulsions, eating disorders, and depression in the context of the family, using an intersubjective approach to personality. Her concept of “semantic polarities” gives a groundbreaking perspective to the construction of meaning in the family and other interpersonal contexts. At no point is theory left in the wasteland of abstraction. The concreteness of the many case studies recounted, and examples taken from well-known novels, will allow readers to immediately connect the topics discussed with their own experience.
the social gap was insurmountable. The parents of Viola, a 16-year-old anorexic, were both classics graduates from the same university, and both taught in secondary schools. Yet, to look at them, they 183 S E MA N T I C S A N D PS YC H O PAT HOL OG I E S were of two completely different kinds: The mother was cultured, refined and at home in the city, as were her parents and her brothers, with whom she shared an interest in music, cinema and theatre, whereas the father, the only member of his
therefore frightened of commitment. For them, as for those with the opposite strategy, commitments are irrevocable. A close relationship therefore brings, for them, not just the risk of losing their personal autonomy and independence on which their self-esteem is crucially based. The development of a commitment is much more disturbing for the extreme difficulty in breaking it: once a significant relationship is established, it is difficult for them to emotionally escape from it. People with
even a parent. He is the member of the family with whom the mother has the strongest tie. Generally he is less involved in the relationship with the mother than the mother would wish. He is to some extent uncommitted, thereby producing feelings of insecurity and desires for reassurance in the mother. Though his/her autonomy and independence often gives little satisfaction and is sometimes the subject of heavy criticism and a motive for acute suffering, nevertheless it is often admired and, in
forbidden but also desperately desired. Greatly simplifying, the range of strategies used by those with an obsessivecompulsive organization to reduce the reflexivity of the strange loop, prior to the first appearance of symptoms, can be categorized into two forms of individual functioning. I will call these two forms of functioning strategy of purity and strategy of subjugated evil. These have to be seen as extremes in a continuum of highly varied ways of individual functioning. Through the
accordance with the dilemma that characterized his organization, when Salvatore felt better, when he became confident and self-assured, he became afflicted by fear and anxiety. During these periods he developed guilty desires. For example, three of four years before the beginning of therapy he had felt the desire to touch women’s bottoms, as his father had done. For a brief period he had yielded to this vice: 157 S E MA N T I C S A N D PS YC H O PAT HOL OG I E S During that time I was