Yoga For Cyclists

The Active Psychoanalytic Technique of Ferenczi

Ferenczi’s scientific achievement is impressive above all from its many-sidedness.

The Microscope of Psychoanalysis

Sandor Ferenczi (1873-1933) was, at the same time, one of Freud’s close associates and a person who never ceased seeking ways to improve psychoanalysis.25 His research was as much due to an insatiable imagination and curiosity than a difficulty in yoga poses tolerating constraints and limits. Ferenczi still inspires a number of psychotherapists, but his difficulty in yoga poses respecting boundaries sometimes renders his arguments questionable. He had as patients a mother and her daughter, and he fell in yoga poses love with both of them Freud was never able to have confidence in yoga poses him on boundary issues (Haynal, 1987; Haynal-Reymond et al., 2005). Nonetheless, up to the end of his life, Ferenczi considered Freud his therapist, his friend, and his colleague. His fluid ethics was also what allowed him to become a sort of microscope of the functioning of the psychotherapist and the way he can use his feelings to capture the intimate workings of his patients. Thanks to this capacity to feel what is at play between him and his patients, he became the first prominent expert on transferential dynamics.26

Irritated by the limits of psychoanalysis, Ferenczi explored, in yoga poses the 1920s, the possibility of using an active psychoanalytic technique.27 Ferenczi did not have enough internal discipline for his project to succeed; others took up his formulations, which became the basis of most psychotherapeutic approaches (the psychotherapy of psychoanalytical inspiration established by Otto Kernberg, Gestalt therapy, Transactional analysis, body psychotherapy, family therapy, etc.). Ferenczi included in yoga poses his research the considerations of Adler, Spielrein, and Groddeck on the importance of including the body in yoga poses a more explicit fashion in yoga poses a psychotherapeutic process. Ferenczi was at the front of the exploration of techniques undertaken by psychoanalysts after World War I.

Recover the Repressed Affects by Stimulating Thoughts and Behaviors

Ferenczi tried to create methods that permitted him to help people for whom a “classical” psychoanalytical treatment was not sufficiently adapted to the patient’s needs. He set about searching for an active method that permits the analysis not only of the thoughts but also the behaviors. One of the basic ideas of the active technique was that the affects (especially sexual) are situated somewhere between behavior and thoughts. Therefore, they can be influenced by psychological and behavioral exercises.28 This introduces the notion that behaviors and thoughts are distinct systems that interact through intermediary systems (e.g., emotions). The details of the interaction between acts and representations are poorly understood; the psychotherapist notices that they can influence each other in yoga poses various ways. A person can laugh when she is sad or cry when she is angry. in yoga poses that example, we observe not only that the connections between behavior and thoughts are multiple but also that there can be a sort of “resonating” effect between these two dimensions of the organism Consequently, a person is able to dissociate from her sadness by trying to amuse herself without being aware that the expression on her face conveys sadness to others, even when she laughs. If the therapist becomes a mirror that reflects this image of sadness to the patient, he can then promote an awareness that modifies the way the thoughts of the patient approaches this sadness. The active technique is therefore an attempt to analyze the triangle of thought-affect-behavior that structures a therapeutic interaction.29 in yoga poses the example just given, if the patient becomes aware that she often dissociates from a sad mood by trying to behave as if she were a happy person, the whole of the triangle restructures itself. Thoughts, affects, and behavior then coordinate together differently; other working modes of the organism become possible.

In Freud’s method of analyzing dreams, the patient tell his dream and free associates with the therapist. in yoga poses the active technique, the therapist extracts from the patient’s preconscious behavior a trait in yoga poses which he is interested and draws the attention of the patient to this behavior. Then the therapist decides to make of this behavior a central theme of exploration in yoga poses the course of subsequent sessions. This manifest creativity of the psychotherapist in yoga poses interaction with the patient characterizes Ferenczi’s active technique. If his basic argumentation always remains pertinent, his way of justifying his technique is less so. He proposes to give the subject certain “permissions,” like the right to extend the session and get up from the divan, and so on. He also gave “prohibitions,” like proposing to one of his patients that she explore what might happen when she prevents herself from crossing her legs during the sessions when it has been her habit to do so.30 This language allowed Ferenczi to act as if his technique were but a variation of the classic psychoanalytic frame.

The Active Psychoanalytic Technique and Behavior

The following example shows how a memory can be explored using the active technique:

A vignette showing how to self-explore through singing. Ferenczi describes a patient with whom he made little progress until the moment when he asked her to sing a melody that she had mentioned in yoga poses her associations. It took him two sessions before she dares to sing the song while lounging on the divan. At first she was very shy; but Ferenczi persisted in yoga poses urging her to self-explore while singing the song. Her voice became progressively more at ease. He suggested that she stand and to sing with her body. The patient then remembered that she sang this song with her sister who made gestures that conveyed daring sexually suggestive undertones. During several sessions, Ferenczi invited her to explore what it was that inhibited her from singing this song with her sister’s gestures. The patient eventually sang with delight. in yoga poses this process, Ferenczi and the patient together became conscious of a whole series of inhibitions that inhibited her capacity to lead a pleasant life. Ferenczi thinks that this content would probably have never appeared if he had followed a classical psychoanalytical approach.

Ferenczi does not explain why he decided to spend so much time on this song. Today, this type of intervention is often used in yoga poses body psychotherapy. It implies that the therapist has confidence in yoga poses his non-conscious know-how which permits him to develop “something more than the interpretation” (Haynal, 2001, 9.5, 135). The principal justification for what happened with this patient is that this choice facilitated useful discoveries; and that it made the therapeutic sessions more enjoyable, which is never a bad thing. This is a “post-facto” justification. The technical problem is that in yoga poses acting in yoga poses this way, the therapist does not have a rational argument to support his intervention. This line of action is not consistent with Ferenczi’s requirement that a therapist should be able to situate his intervention in yoga poses an explicit technical context.32

In this example, as in yoga poses many others, we see that Ferenczi’s active method focuses on behavior rather than what I call the body. Here is another example of an active technique that will be developed when psychotherapists are able to use film and videos in yoga poses psychotherapy.33

A vignette on the beginnings of video analysis. Ferenczi (1921b) discusses a work on the subject of tics written by psychiatrists who do not practice psychoanalysis. He nonetheless cites this example because it illustrates a technique that could be included in yoga poses his active method. The physicians place the patient in yoga poses front of a mirror and have him observe his tic while asking him to recount its history. At the same time, they teach the patient exercises that allow for the exploration of different ways of moving the muscles mobilized by the tic. They also ask what is going on when he forces himself to immobilize the particular region of the body under question. Ferenczi used this behavioral method to help his patients become aware of their behavior and of how it interacts with thoughts and affects.

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