About Complexes

When talking about Adonis, Cleopatra or Napoleon do we really render account that these notable people possessed the greatest human flaws ever known? Or that their names would be attributed to the most complicated psychic processes by the psychotherapists? The greatest philosophers and the moralists of the world would praise these nobles. And, would the modern psychologists do the same?
The complex – (from latincomplex 2a connection) is a constellation of unconscious retentive emotions experienced towards one`s specific psychological or physical feature, which causes the inner psychic tensions and might have a deep impact on the harmonious development of the personality. In the historical researches the term “complex” first appeared in the works of the German neurologist and psychiatrist Theodor Ziehen who introduced it as a new psychological phenomenon after his experiments with the reaction time in word association and test responses (Daniels, 2003). The term “complex,” or “feeling-toned complex of ideas,” was adopted by Carl Jung when he was still a Freud`s follower. Complexes were so central to Jung’s ideas that he originally called his body of theories “Complex psychology” (Daniels, 2003). Jung described a “complex” as a ‘node’ in the unconscious; it may be imagined as a knot of unconscious feelings and beliefs, detectable indirectly, through behavior that is puzzling or hard to account for. Jung found evidence for complexes very early in his career in the word association tests conducted at the Burghölzli, the psychiatric clinic of Zurich University, where Jung worked from 1900–1908 (Daniels, 2003). Jung developed the theory out of his work on Word Association Test (Daniels, 2003). In the word association tests, a researcher read a list of 100 words to each subject, who was asked to say, as quickly as possible, the first thing that came to mind in response to each word, and the subject’s reaction time was measured in fifths of a second (Daniels, 2003). (Sir Francis Galton invented the method in 1879) Researchers noted any unusual reactions—hesitations, slips of the tongue, signs of emotion (Daniels, 2003). Jung was interested in patterns he detected in subjects’ responses, hinting at unconscious feelings and beliefs (Daniels, 2003). In Jung’s theory, complexes may be conscious, partly conscious, or unconscious. Complexes can be positive or negative, resulting in good or bad consequences (Mattoon, 1999). There are many kinds of complex, but at the core of any complex is a universal pattern of experience, or archetype (Wishard, 2004). Jung believed it was perfectly normal to have complexes because everyone has emotional experiences that affect the psyche. Although they are normal, negative complexes can cause us pain and suffering (Mattoon, 1999). One of the key differences between Jungian and Freudian theory is that Jung’s thought posits several different kinds of complex. Freud only focused on the Oedipus complex which reflected developmental challenges that face every young boy. He did not take other complexes into account except for the Electra complex, which he briefly spoke of (Carlini, 2005). According to Jung’s personality theory, complexes are building blocks of the psyche and the source of all human emotions (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). Complexes are thought to operate “autonomously and interfere with the intentions of the will, disturbing the memory and conscious performance” (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). “Jung stressed that complexes are not negative in themselves, but their effects often are.” (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). Jung also included the ego in a broadly comprehensive theory of complexes, often referring to it as the ego-complex as illustrated when he said, “By ego I understand a complex of ideas which constitutes the centre of my field of consciousness and appears to possess a high degree of continuity and identity. Hence I also speak of an ego-complex.” (Jung, [1921] 1971: par 706) Jung often used the term “complex” to describe a usually unconscious, repressed yet highly influential symbolic material that is incompatible with the consciousness (Daniels, 2010). Daniels (2010) described complexes as “‘Stuck-together’ agglomerations of thoughts, feelings, behavior patterns, and somatic forms of expression.” Jung spoke of one specific type of complex, an autonomous feeling-toned complex, when he said, “What then, scientifically speaking, is a ‘feeling-toned complex’? It is the image of a certain psychic situation which is strongly accentuated emotionally and is, moreover, incompatible with the habitual attitude of consciousness. This image has a powerful inner coherence, it has its own wholeness and, in addition, a relatively high degree of autonomy, so that it is subject to the control of the conscious mind to only a limited extent, and therefore behaves like an animated foreign body in the sphere of consciousness.” (Jung, [1960] 1969:par. 201) Some complexes usurp power from the ego and can cause constant psychological disturbances and symptoms of neurosis (Daniels, 2010). With the intervention, can become conscious and greatly reduced in their impact (Daniels, 2010). Another contribution to the studies of complex was made by the Austrian psychiatrist A. Adler, whose ideas on the “complex theory” were much similar to the Jung`s and today make a part of the most significant psychological heritage in this field due to his novatory ideas and his scientific openness. Adler was the first to have admitted the existence of “the ego complex”, notably “the complex of inferiority” and “the complex of superiority”, which made the consecutive revolution in the approach to the studies of the consciousness as it proved the imperfection of the mind. But for the studies realized by Freud, Jung and Adler about the “complexes”, there is still a wide field for the academic researches on the subject.
   Main features of the complex:
– Irrational belief or a set of directives that regulate the acting of the person ;
– Repeated schema of behavior; inability to act differently ;
– State of duress, compulsive (sometimes biased) thinking or acting ;
– Fear that feeds the complex ;
– Disposition to take decisions on the pure emotional bases rather than on the logical conclusions ;
– Neurotic suffering;
– Long-term duration ;
– Praising or blaming from the part of the social morality, however the neutral attitude shall not be expected ;
Each complex stems from the basic instincts, e.g. the person who suffers from the Complex of the Superiority would try to self-assert by all means whereas the One with the Complex of Castration seeks for the possibility of the continuation of his origin like the person with the Complex of Persecution feels the need for safety. Each complex begins with its particular experience and in its origin might be found the old trauma as well as the highly accentuated emotionally endured situation, which traces may be tracked at present. Most complexes originate in the childhood or the youth. In a situation when the person responded negatively to a certain conditioned life`s challenge, the complex was consolidated, which cannot but grow in its strength as long as it is nurtured along the way. The one who suffers from the complex might find it difficult to judge rationally in the complex-exciting situations, which provokes the compulsive thinking and the state of duress. Some researches show that the complexes have got the wave-long nature, which is demonstrated in hours, days or weeks and technically can be presented with the following diagram : the arousal – the peak – the lowering. As we may see, the complex does not disappear completely, however it can be lowered and discarded into the unconscious, from where the minor booster would suffice to trigger it out. The complexes might even impact the dreams and send the informative messages to the unconscious in the form of the specific images that would be easily distinguished from the other ‘senders’ by their bright connotations and the direct meaning, which would evoke the habitual feeling of the complex, but in a dream. The complexes might even unclose themselves in the capacity of “voices” and “directives” heard within and therefore influence the decision-making of the person.
   Any complex has a positive or negative impact on the integrity of the personality.
Negative sides:
   Complex may lead to the lost of the sense of reality and the biased subjectivism. In a conversation, the person who suffers the complexes may find it difficult to express his/her genuine intentions and, as a consequence, the conversation would take the prejudiced flow and would lose its primary goal. The complexes might distort the memory and cause the ambivalence in thinking and interpretation. In a case of non-interference there might happen the neurotic assimilation and the consecutive identification of the person with his\her complex.
Positive sides:
   Everyone has got complexes. The complexes do not necessarily imply inferiority for the individual who has them, they merely indicate that there are some weak places in the psyche. E.g. The complex of the Height Insufficiency played the primary role in the life of Napoleon. Such disposition is one of the strongest motivation powers that induces a person to “defend”  his\her complex on the regular basis. Moreover, it guarantees the sense of “safety” and “protection” until the person resides in the “house” of the complex.  The complexes have got the positive influence on the person`s every day`s life as well as on its perspective as long as they do not possess the individual.
   Whether the complex will aggravate or find its cure depends entirely on the orientation of the person as well as the family and the social entourage. The complexes can be surpassed with the will of the person. In this case, he\she shall be sincere about his\her intentions and take a conscious approach towards its elimination. To start with, the one might respond differently from the habitual pattern of the behavior in a situation that provokes the demonstration of the complexes and in such a way consolidate emotionally and consciously a new schema of behavior. The systematic repetition would cause the conditioned response of the mind and would break the old pattern of behavior by letting new judgments and emotions rule in the consciousness.
There do not exist the isolated psychological processes, and the complexes prove this rule. From the philosophical point of view, but for the complexes the world would be simply dull, from the moral prospective, the complexes make the legends come true, and the medicine is still silent on the matter. So, with or without depends on what your approach is…

E-unconscious or why social media lead to neuroses?

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Until now it was very difficult to imagine analytical psychology to be meaningfully supplemented by any other scientific field rather than humanities. However, today the whole IT branch has come with its story on the analytical couch.

It all started with creation of the first programmable computer at the end of WWII, the time when Colossus was invented to facilitate the British decode German messages. That is to say that was the period of experiencing of great absence, the absence of Omnipotent God, Protecting Power that fit into all-inclusive sense of the Big Other. Attribution of strength to the Big Other at the epoch consolidated the allies when all other measures were exhausted, which could not help bringing about the decisive empowering impetus for victory.  Yes, a role of computer technology in final battlefield we cannot underestimate.

So, the Big Other, which rose from the ashes of death instinct, has stayed with us till nowadays. Moreover, it has managed to tailor its shape and content in response to a demand of deviant modernity. It has become an element of consummation. The mechanical Other is supposed to possess the knowledge (about us). Today the mechanical Other is here and now ready to satisfy all our demands. Even a mere understanding of collective unconscious has become easier since google and wikipedia practically embody it. With a single mouse click and we can get access to the collective data. Global e-unconscious has become a depositor of all that we have ever intended to be.

Indeed, it has such value because we know that at any time it can be destroyed, and with it all history of our demands, a demand to the Other, will vanish. And what is the demand, with which we are constantly addressing to the electronic Other? What knowledge are we confining upon Him? The knowledge that leads to massive neuroses, symptomatically shaping globalized madness.

The Other has brought about dependence. Paradoxically, the mechanic Other that has replaced the absence is the one, who is provoking absence again. If initially the absence had not been experienced it would not have been able to take the place, which it is taking now.

Electronic dependence is a sort of unconscious escape, guaranteed in case of war, from which we were not been able to get rid of. In human minds the post-war memories were so much traumatizing that a modern man is unwillingly passing it to the next generations. So, in XXI-century mankind is unconsciously preparing for war and that is why so much of violence is occurring here and there. Yes, technologies, prompted by death impulse, are a sign of progress, which guarantee illusion of “second life attempt”.

Illusions of psychoanalysis

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Lying there on divan in a hope that a psychoanalyst will answer to all you questions is the biggest illusion that any patient may have. So, it’s better to rise up and leave before it’s too late, and the psychoanalytical experience turns into a real drama …Herein we will look into two historical cases of the victims of the psychoanalysis manipulated by the cause of the science, namely: Horace Frink and Emma Eckstein.In February 1921, Horac Frink goes to Europe in order to undertake the analysis with Sigmund Freud. At the age of 38, he becomes a part of this ample crowd of the young intellectuals, who irresistibly attracted by the 19, Bergasse in Vienna in order to study there under the supervision of the greatest maîtres as the students name them. Frink is one among those who aspire to get formation as the Master of Art by paying 10 dollars per hour on the divan, so that to realize his own dreams and fantasies. Freud teaches partially the psychoanalysis by applying it simply on his students. With the time having become psychoanalyst himself, Frink falls in love with one of his patient, Angelika Bijur, a married respectable woman. On the divan a woman learns what it means the self-accomplishment.  Frink becomes courageous and asks Angelika to marry him, and she, in her turn, seeks the benediction of Freud. Two imminent divorces and two new quick marriages of the famous psychoanalyst with his ancient patient have turned into real scandal. Looking into the past, Horace and mostly Angelika start thinking that they have become the victims of the psychoanalysis and not its privileged seekers. In her letters she writes: “Till present I have not met the psychoanalyst who would not seem to me demonstratively neurotic, lost in his theories and incapable to arrange his own life…”. Frink undergoes several attempts of the suicide. Horace Frink dies from the cardiac disease on the 19 th April1936 at the age of 53 years.Emma Eckstein was the first woman psychologist, to who Freud gave the formation. Being issued from the Vienna bourgeois family, one of her brothers, Gustav Eckstein, was a close person to the socialist leader Karl Kautsky, and her sister, Therese Schlesinger was one of the first women to enter Parliament, and she was also an activist in the feminist movement. She stayed unmarried till the last days of her life.Her existence was only revealed in 1966 owing to the publication of the complete correspondence between Freud and Fliess by Jeffrey Masson, who was able to learn her desperate story: the absurdity of the events that compete with incompetence and ill-treatment, of which she turned out to be a victim.There still exist the questions, to which the psychology has not answered yet.

Illusion 1 The psychoanalysis cures rapidly 
Illusion 2 The results attained during the psychoanalytical sessions are irreversible 
Illusion 3 The psychoanalysis, it’s simple!
 Illusion 4 Anybody can be a psychoanalyst
 Illusion 5 The psychanalyses is the tête-à-tête dialogue

Expert opinion: why relocating child with Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be challenging for parents?

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OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and habitual rituals  (compulsions). Schematically it can be displayed as:
Obsession – Anxiety – Compulsion – Anxiety Relief
OCD is quite a common biological disease, which is diagnosed at age 7-12. Many scientists consider that by developing OCD, a brain tries to respond to multiple problems at the same time, and while not managing to do so, it gets caught in a vicious circle of repetition. However, at large these are the parents who incite the illness either with their own example, or with compulsive need of imposing certain chores on their kids, e.i. regular hands washing, which later can grow into obsession. Therefore, OCD has biological, genetic and environment roots.
Why relocating a child with OCD might be problematic?
Any critical change in a daily routine of OCD affected child, such as moving to another place of  living and studies, may not only complicate the whole health state of a kid, but also turn into a devastating experience for the rest of the family. Therefore all significant events shall be well premeditated and prepared in advance. Recommendations for comfort of OCD child are mostly guided by cognitive-behavioral approach.
 First and furthermost, parents shall prepare a child to a fact of family`s relocation long before a day of parting, so that it didn`t turn out to be shocking news. It`s a good idea to let a child participate in discussions concerning moving while talking about a new home only in terms of stability, using only concrete and well formulated phrases, such as “a child`s room is located next to the bathroom”, “a child`s bedroom faces a window”. When arrived, a child would already have a sense of being acquainted with a place, which increases chances of easy and rapid acclimatization.
 Secondly, a child should be participating in the process of relocation by packing his/her things himself/herself. On the day of relocation he/she may keep a favorite toy, video games in hands during the whole trip. Before parting, parents should explain the upcoming road routine in details. For example: “Now you`re going to sit in a car and play games. When you get hungry we`ll stop and eat pizza at a café (to mention child`s favorite food, then he/she will be looking forward to it)”.  If a child is obsessed with tidiness put lots of tissues and anti-bacteria liquid within a child`s hand`s reach. OCD children also need lots of reassurance; so, a parent should be ready to provide an adequate parental reaction by showing lots of understanding, encouragement and comforting support, which would help a child control anxiety whenever it arises.
 Thirdly, having reached a destination, explain to a child everything that is going to happen before doing it, for example: “now we`re going to step into this big building. This is our home. You`re taking your toys and we`re going to an elevator”. Let a child press an elevator`s button, which gives a sense of essential primary contact with a new home (if needed keep anti-bacterial liquid near)”.
 Last but not the least, it`d be useful to get in touch with a psychotherapist at a new residence place, who would be aware of your case, and to who you might address anytime for inpatient or outpatient treatment. It would be also beneficial if a child gets a course of cognitive-behavioral therapy to help him/her modify dysfunctional thoughts and behavioral schemas.
Socialization
Explain all details of a new daily routine to a child, e.i. “On Monday after lesson of math/ On Wednesday after classes of arts Mom will come to pick you up at the school gate and we`ll go home”, and like this every day. In such a way child acquires a sense of controlling his/her reality. It`s good to give him/her a feeling that there`s indeed somebody else who controls the situation, so in case it gets out of usual routine nobody will not suffer.
 A child should continue keeping in touch with friends to who he/she got used to at his/her former residence place. And at the same time a parent should be facilitating a process of socialization with child`s new peers by initiating their initial contact in a following way: “You`ll meet new friends at school, who are just like Mike and Kelly (here to mention names of his/her closest friends), and they will also be playing football (here to pick up kid`s favorite game) with you”.
Possible complications
In dependance on OCD severity level, complications might take different forms: from cyclothymic mood shifts, sleep disorder, troubles with concentration to difficulties of adaptation and even psycho trauma. Therefore, careful planning, detailed explanation and lots of comforting are needed to avoid the worst scenario.
Advantages, which relocating might bring for a child with OCD
At a new place, over a time you might notice that some symptoms have taken different forms, or even disappeared. That is because OCD symptoms tend to wane in dependence on the environment. So, if a right approach is adapted, relocation for OCD child might turn into potential advantage. Having left a usual routine, a child also leaves a part of his\her obsessive thoughts, and has an opportunity to start a really new life.
 So, relocation is a good moment to begin constructing a new healthy model of living for an OCD child if all cognitive-behavioral recommendations are adapted in complex.
At a new place, over a time you might notice that some symptoms have taken different forms, or even disappeared. That is because OCD symptoms tend to wane in dependence on the environment. So, if a right approach is adapted, relocation for OCD child might turn into potential advantage. Having left a usual routine, a child also leaves a part of his\her obsessive thoughts, and has an opportunity to start a really new life.

My boss was flying high, I couldn`t suss him out: a case of paranoia at workplace

精神安逸比物质充裕更重要
Mental comfort is more important than physical comfort
Chinese proverb
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Do you need to feel comfortable at workplace? In which way does professional satisfaction influence personal development? Do you really need that job if your mental health is threatened? This matter stroke my mind when the other day I was on a visiting ride to some psychiatric clinic, where I found the medical staff, who is subjected to moral humiliation by their boss on a daily basis. Yet, this medical establishment has not heard of personal respect. Doctors suffer from nervous collapses and could easily burst out into tears. While the chief doctor says it`s the only way to keep employees under control. However, on the other hand, these are not only sycophantics, who persist, but actually people who are used, and, definitely, like to be ill-treated.  Humane and compassionate professionals just run away from there. Why? The reason is a paranoiac boss, who is throwing false accusations on staff, self-unconfident with general distrust on others, often to the edge of irrationality and obsessive misjudgement.
 What about your own workplace? If you noticed that after picking up that job you experience constant anxiety, fear, eating-sleeping disturbances, even somatic changes, take it as a learning experience, and think, if you respect yourself enough to find a better place?
 There can be distinguished healthy pressure at work, as a result of which you get more self-nurture to grow personally and professionally. And, on the other side,  there`s destructive stress when you feel:
-chronicly exhausted;
-physically and morally ill;
-underappreciated, belittled, disrespected, used as if you were owned by your company;
-all you can do is just tolerate.
 Beware that unhealthy work environment often leaves employees questioning their own reality and self-value. Do not consider a decision to quit as a failure.
Leadership turns out to be dysfunctional if:
-work procedures and instructions are inconsistent, or simply change as a boss goes.
-it is excessively cold or emotionally reactive;
– there`s unwillgness to listen to others, or listening is admitted to the limit where it does not contradict leader`s mind-set;
-communication is largely negative and dissatisfaction prevails, no matter how positive employees` achievements are;
-unreasonable expectations for productivity and goals;
-hypocrasy (saying when one thing-doing the other);
 First of all, we`re all human beings, and nobody can play tricks on nature. That`s said, surpressed anger and dissatisfaction will pay off with its darkest side in the end.  If you value yourself as a professional with potential to fulfill, then you`re really worth something better.

Selfishness kills relationship

A couple is driving Maserati cabrio on the streets of Philadelphia. They are bright, energetic, and in love. What would be more beautiful? As long as both partners take care of each other, nothing threatens their happiness. When one of them forgets about the needs of the other, a bomb of exasperation and dissatisfaction explodes – and a couple collapses. And it doesn`t really matter, who started a quarrel, and whose fault was that. What remains clear is that at the time of explosion each of them was thinking just of oneself. Ego-centredness: that is what has cut down many idyllic bonds. Deep down the surface of all good intentions and limitless hope for common bright future, selfishness can break it all in pieces.
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Close Shave Scene, film “Skyfall”
Scenario A) Let`s have a look at the example: a young beautiful couple is having an argument: during the last few days a young man has not been calling his girlfriend. A girl has been feeling abandoned. She asks for explanations, and he says, that he was extremely busy.
Yet, not all men know that in a relation it`s better to be overcaring rather than be lost for explanations. Yes, one sms making it clear why he`ll be unreachable, could have made a different scenario for this situation. A man acted egoistically, neglecting the very essence of being in couple – his responsibility towards another.
Being in relation is like observing regime of selflessness and consideration
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Close Shave Scene, film “Skyfall”
Scenario B) Let`s go further. There`s a good man, who has a habit, before waking up, to think of breakfast that he`d cook for his wife. She enjoys healthy food, therefore, he`s already planning for a savory nutritious repast for two. When a morning meal is over, she`ll make sure that her husband would leave home good-looking, tidy and happy. Both partners think of each other, as of a whole inseparable entity.
And what`s scenario of your relations? In the end, you can be frank with yourself: what is motivating you in love liaisons: a desire of “I” satisfaction or harmony of “Us” ? Here`s the key: 

Fulfilled relation is a relation void of personal egos

To sum it up, try to imagine, what would a modern successful man, who has everything he wishes for, be lacking in his life? An answer is simple: a successful woman. Not a cook for his kitchen, nor a buddy, nor another lover. He`s lacking his true equal. And only relation void of personal egos of partners can be equal and harmoniously accomplished.