International Psychoanalytic University

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Ludwig-Korner C.,International Psychoanalytic University
Kinderanalyse | Year: 2017

After an historical review of the many approaches to psychoanalytically oriented pedagogy for young children, the author discusses potential ways of re-ensconcing psychoanalysis in a field of application where it has long been conspicuous by its absence. She then reports on a project entitled «Strength-ening Mother-Child Relations in Nursery School/Kindergarten», an attempt to engage pedagogically and therapeutically with challenged parents and their children. The article closes with thoughts on how therapeutic work in nursery schools/kindergartens can best be institutionalised in future.


Fromer R.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Fromer R.,International Psychoanalytic University | Sturmer B.,International Psychoanalytic University | Sommer W.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Biological Psychology | Year: 2016

In this study on skill acquisition in a computerized throwing task, we examined the effect of graded correct-related performance feedback on the reward positivity of the event-related brain potential (ERP). Theories of reinforcement learning predict effects of reward magnitude and expectancy on the reward prediction error. The later is supposed to be reflected in reward positivity, a fronto-central ERP component. A sample of 68 participants learned to throw at a beamer-projected target disk while performance accuracy, displayed as the place of impact of the projectile on the target, served as graded feedback. Effects of performance accuracy in successful trials, hit frequency, and preceding trial performance on reward positivity were analyzed simultaneously on a trial-by-trial basis by means of linear mixed models. In accord with previous findings, reward positivity increased with feedback about more accurate performance. This relationship was not linear, but cubic, with larger impact of feedback towards the end of the accuracy distribution. In line with being a measure of expectancy, the reward positivity decreased with increasing hit frequency and was larger after unsuccessful trials. The effect of hit frequency was more pronounced following successful trials. These results indicate a fast trial-by-trial adaptation of expectation. The results confirm predictions of reinforcement learning theory and extend previous findings on reward magnitude to the area of complex, goal directed skill acquisition. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


My theory of “Psychotherapy as profession” published in 1999 forms the foundations of reflections on the current status: psychotherapy research has considerably rehabilitated the talking cure in its effect strengths and outcome measures. Neither the technical (interventions for disorders) nor medical metaphors (Stiles and Shapiro 1989) could uphold what they promised: randomized controlled trial (RCT) methodology involves strict logic but has less practical relevance. This research environment contrasts with a political environment as achieved by a direct training, as decided by the psychotherapist convention in autumn 2015. This would bring medical orientation into the training, as is currently being questioned in research. Other sharp conflict situations are: front lines do exist between various schools of therapy, especially behavior therapy (BT) or cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic schools of thought; however, the more important front line of “psychotherapy wars” (Woolfolk 2015, p.34, even talks of “civil wars”) runs between a human scientific and a technical pharmacological perception of psychotherapy. The successes of the latter are more fragile than its propaganda. What persists and functions is a human scientific, indeed even humanistic rehabilitation of therapeutic orientations, which are imparted in professional conversation. In this favorable historic moment the profession could reclaim the freedom of bringing human scientific orientation and the therapeutic art of conversation into discussion. The old front position between “hermeneutics” and “empiricists” can be overcome through a third position. There is a new and “other empiricism”: that of conversation. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Lamott F.,International Psychoanalytic University
Forum der Psychoanalyse | Year: 2017

New markets of body styling, of the medical cosmetic industry and last but not least interventions by cosmetic surgery, promise personal happiness by self-optimization: any personal outward appearance can be reinvented to overcome the contingency of a fate anatomically and aesthetically perceived as unjust. Ideals of beauty, body fashions and images of sexual desire are subject to cultural and historical variation. Whereas sexuality was previously associated with the utopia of having the potential to release society from constraints, sexuality has nowadays been smoothly assimilated into the market society. The options available for optimization of sexual desire by the aesthetic preparation of the body are multitudinous. Thereby the body serves as a means of expression and a yardstick of personal placement in the world. The consequences arising from this for the sexual self-concept of the subject, for the aesthetic forms of cultural participation, for perceptions of normality and deviations are the subject of these deliberations. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Tobel L.,University of Konstanz | Hubner R.,University of Konstanz | Sturmer B.,International Psychoanalytic University
Acta Psychologica | Year: 2014

The Simon effect is usually explained by the assumption that the irrelevant stimulus location automatically activates the corresponding response. In the case of incongruent stimulus-response assignments automatically activated responses therefore have to be suppressed to ensure correct responses. This account, however, has been called into question for other than horizontally arranged visual Simon tasks. We investigated whether there is a qualitative or quantitative difference in suppression of irrelevant activation between horizontally and vertically arranged Simon tasks, using delta-function analyses. Sequential analyses revealed suppression after incongruent trials in both tasks, supporting the idea of a quantitative rather than a qualitative difference between the tasks. We conclude that automatic response activation is weaker in vertical tasks resulting in lower inhibitory demands as compared to horizontal tasks. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Krause R.,International Psychoanalytic University
International Forum of Psychoanalysis | Year: 2010

This paper tries to follow the historical development of the ideas related to the term primary identification. It is shown that Freud's thinking regarding primary identification was developed around the phenomenon of mass suggestion, which was explained using the concept of identification with the leader, primary identification, and Einfuhlung. However, two false translations from Freud's German to English led to severe confusion in the subsequent literature. The most important one was that Einfuhlung was translated as empathy. It is shown that Freud meant by Einfuhlung something like affect contagion that was considered to be an inborn capacity to activate motoric patterns by just looking at the behavior of other human beings. This idea is a conceptual forerunner of mirror neurons. The activation of these is a prerequisite for empathy, but without separation between the self and the other, the attribution to which the feeling belongs is impossible. Kernberg, following Klein, uses the term introjection for the process of very early internalisations. We are proposing to discriminate interjections from identifications following Piaget's description of assimilation versus accommodation. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.


The undisputed necessity of a reform of the Psychotherapist Act could open up the chance to reconsider the training of psychological psychotherapists and to completely renew the structure from the ground up. This article proposes that psychotherapy training should be designed based on the profession itself. Starting from the question of what a good psychotherapist needs to have learnt, a study curriculum is drafted which is structured towards this professional target from the very beginning. This direct training imparts psychotherapeutic competence based on a broad psychological, medical and social scientific education, encourages targeted social competences and enables clinical experience in advance. The training terminates after six years with a state examination and qualification for the profession of psychotherapist. Subsequently, qualified psychotherapists undertake a four-year in-house advanced professional education to an adult or pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist. After completing half of the study period, i.e. after three years, students decide on one of the scientifically recognized courses and subsequently the study course is partly procedure-related and mostly interprocedural. The study incorporates a practical year which accompanies the last four semesters as a half day practical training. Universities which want to offer this study course must be qualified to award doctorates and have a psychotherapy research walk-in clinic. They must also cooperate with recognized training partners who participate in the course of the study and professionally structure the four-year in-house advanced professional education. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Hamburger A.,International Psychoanalytic University
Contemporary Psychoanalysis | Year: 2015

The detailed analysis of a five-minute section from the testimony of a hospitalized survivor demonstrates how the fragmented autobiographical narrative is reenacted in the relational matrix among the interviewer, the survivor, and the research group. Detailed analysis establishes that the core of the fragmentation of the survivor’s autobiographical narrative lies in the unconscious social matrix. This is discussed as a condition and consequence of perpetuation of genocidal trauma. © William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology and the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Society.


Buchholz M.B.,International Psychoanalytic University
Forum der Psychoanalyse | Year: 2014

Hermeneutics (meaning, understanding) and scientism (causality, explanation) formed and still form opposites that make it difficult to adequately conceptualize self-determination and positioning of psychoanalysis in the theory of sciences. The first proposal is to view these opposites not as an either-or principle but more as the principle of complementarity as proposed in the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. Then, the communicative turn of hermeneutics as thoroughly worked through by Habermas can be combined with results of empirical research from infant research and primatology so that a bridge between the two camps comes into sight. This bridge is stable if besides “meaning” and “causality” a third pole is established: sociality. Thus, a step forward to a triadic epistemology can be taken which is prepared here. Research on the microstructure of social interactions in psychoanalysis confirms the possibilities of including a social dimension which is extremely important but widely ignored in the theory of scientific debates between hermeneutics and science. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


After an outline of the infant observation method devised by Esther Bick and its significance for psychoanalytical training, the methodology is subjected to critical scrutiny. This leads to the proposal that infant observation be supplemented by observation of the baby using video analysis and the consequent modification of infant observation methods.

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