In an attempt to illustrate the relevance of psychoanalytic theory and research to behavior medicine, an empirical investigation was conducted of females treated at a high-risk pregnancy specialty clinic (N = 58). Drawing from psychoanalytic object relations theory, it was hypothesized and confirmed that use of projection as a defense mechanism during pregnancy, superimposed on simplistic object relations, predicted an erosion of patient-provider relationships during the pregnancy/postdelivery period. Findings are interpreted through the perspective of mentalization, pertaining to individuals' ability to understand the mental states of self and others, specifically under significant stress. Implications for psychoanalytically oriented assessment and treatment, and for the rift between psychoanalysis and research, are discussed.
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"Psychology & Health 451 clinician may also serve as an additional or alternative source of support, particularly in high-risk pregnancy (Shahar et al., 2010). Identification of women in need of additional assistance following their delivery may improve their prognosis and reduce their chances of developing post-natal psychopathology following this surgical intervention. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To investigate the protective role of sense of coherence (SOC) and perceived social support in the effect of emergency/elective Caesarian-Section on postnatal psychological symptoms and impairment in mother-infant bonding. Design: Thirty seven women delivering via an Emergency C-Section, 21 via Elective C-Section, and 38 through a vaginal delivery were assessed six weeks post-partum (Time 1) as to their PTSD and depressive symptoms, impairment in bonding, and SOC and social support. Symptoms and bonding difficulties were assessed again six weeks later (Time 2). Main and interactive effects of mode of delivery and the protective factors were examined. Main Outcome Measures: Post-natal depressive and PTSD symptoms and mother-infant bonding. Results: An emergency C-Section mode of delivery predicted an increase in PTSD symptoms in Time 2, but only among women with low levels of Time 1 social support. Time 1 SOC predicted a decrease in post-natal PTSD and depression. Conclusions: Social support might buffer against the potentially traumatic effect of an emergency C-Section. SOC appears to constitute a powerful dimension of post-natal resilience.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Psychology and Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper's main thesis is that Irwin Z. Hoffman's thesis that psychoanalysis must choose between its worldview and quantitative scientific research creates a misleading dichotomy. First, because scientific research is not in itself a worldview but a means to ascertain empirical claims, and to the extent that psychoanalysis has such claims, they need to be ascertained scientifically. Second, the dichotomy is misleading, because there is nothing in science per se that contradicts the psychoanalytic ethos of exploring the self's complexity and helping patients to become more autonomous and lead fuller and richer lives. Finally, the paper calls for a deepening of the dialogue between psychoanalysis and the evolving paradigm of the cognitive neurosciences that has, in many ways, inherited Freud's original program of an evolutionary science of human nature. Such dialogue will enrich both psychoanalysis and this paradigm, and taking into account the findings of biologically based investigation of the human psyche will not dilute the psychoanalytic ethos.
No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Psychoanalytic Dialogues
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychoanalysis has been immensely influential in Western culture, but its public standing has declined considerably in the last decades, as has been documented in major studies of the place of psychoanalysis in academia and in mental health practice. I investigated the absence of psychoanalysis from a public space of growing importance: the "third culture," the space in which specialists present their ideas to general, educated audiences in leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. My central argument is that psychoanalysis could make a unique contribution to this space that would not only increase its public standing, but also do an important service to wider educated audiences. I used a psychodynamic model meant to understand global culture's fetishist fascination with ranking and rating the self as an example how such audiences can be reached intellectually and engaged emotionally. I discuss how the difficulties for psychoanalysis in finding its place in the third culture can be overcome, and demonstrate this process by my own journey into the third culture. Finally, I argue that reaching out to the third culture is an important mission for psychoanalysis in the 21st century.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Psychoanalytic Psychology