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Asda Asdad Essay

6198 words - 25 pages

PAGE PAGE 26
Fantasy From an Interpersonal Perspective:An Examination of its Developmental OriginsChristopher Bonovitz, PsyDWilliam Alanson White InstituteChrisfb@nyc.rr.comAbstractThe author examines the developmental underpinnings of imagination and explicates the process by which the child's fantasy life becomes weakly connected to reality. The author argues that the repeated experience of severe and abrupt disconnection from the parent weakens the link between reality and fantasy. Two likely outcomes are put forth as a result of this sudden disconnection. The first outcome is one in which the child retreats into a fantastical cocoon that is divorced from the interpersonal world around him. In the second outcome, the patient's mental life is bereft of imagination and fantasy such that rationality, logic, and concreteness contribute to an affectively impoverished inner life devoid of novelty and surprise. Brief child vignettes are used to illustrate these developmental outcomes as well as an extended adult case that highlights the developmental origins of the patient's private fantasy life and the therapist's attempt to facilitate its linkage with the interpersonal sphere of experience.Though unconscious fantasy has a long history in psychoanalysis, what I am interested in here is conscious fantasy, daydreams, and images, outgrowths or products of one's capacity for imagination. Freud referred to these mental events as the adult form of play, "castles in the sand." Although fantasy has at times been viewed as an escape from reality, childlike or regressive in nature, and something to be relinquished or given up in the service of adapting to the so-called real world, I disagree with this perspective.Mitchell (1988) makes the point that in 1897 when Freud made the switch from the seduction theory to his theory of infantile sexuality- a shift from the outer world of reality to the inner world of fantasy- he created a false dichotomy. Mitchell (1988) states, "Freud replaced one set of ideas establishing two clusters of dichotomous concepts, which later became associated with the terms intrapsychic and interpersonal, fantasy vs. perception, psychic reality vs. actuality, inner world vs. outer world, and drive theory vs. a theory of environmental influences. One might argue that Freud's shift in the theory split the different sides of these contrasts from each other and that we have been trying to heal that split ever since" (p. 475).I think of fantasy and reality as inextricably intertwined (as opposed to existing in separate realms), more strongly or weakly linked as if on a continuum. Fantasy holds the potential to infuse reality with a sense of aliveness and deepen experience when it is strongly linked with the interpersonal area of lived experience, as opposed to remaining in the far reaches of the mind. Fantasy, as I am using it here, draws on the work of interpersonal theorists whose work has emphasized the nonverbal, sensory elements of...

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