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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/637

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sion successful. The unwelcome wish may form in cure neurosis resulting from unfulfilled wishes, it is

the unconscious a complex that will eventually dis- necessary to get at the hidden desire that has been

turb the emotional and mental equilibrium. The thwarted and repressed and that seeks compensar

repression it must be understood, is not a deliberate tion in the neurotic i^mptons which afford a morbid

act, but the result of the counteracting activity of gratification. This presents great difficulties; for

another interest. ^This imwitting repression," writes what has been piuposely forjgotten is buried much

R. H. Hingley, "is the activity on which the whole deeper than what merely slips from our memory.

paychoanal3rtic theory is built. The complex thus The difficulty is accentuated when the fatal emo-

formed exerts a bias on the whole trend of the in- tional shock dates back to early childhood, as is

dividual life and starts a series of impulsive activi- frequently the case. Actusd and exceedingly clever

ties that are unrelated to the rest of the mental resistance both from the imconscious as from the

life and resemble the phenomena of dissociation, patient is encountered in the process of discovery.

From this source arise distressing phobias, annoy- For strange to say, the patient clings to his

ing amnesias, disUkes, tics, compulsion neuroses, symptons and cherishes them. 'The time rec|uired

anxiety neuroses, paralysis and hysteria. The com- to cure a patient, writes Dr. A. A. Brill, 'is directly

plex may be defined as a group of unconscious proportional to the degree in which he is morbidly

ideas, or rather a group of ideas in the unconscious, benefited by his neurosis. The patient dreads the

which, having been subjected to repression, con- disclosiu'e and offers opposition rather than as-

tinue to have an independent existence and growth, sistance. Hence Dr. Freud complains: "When we

Since the complex is unknown the patient cannot undertake to cure a patient, to free him from the

account for his trouble and is utterly helpless. Psy- symptons of his malady, he confronts us with a

choanalysis comes to his rescue, for its purpose is vigorous, tenacious resistance that lasts during the

to set free the unconscious with a view to the dis- whole time of the treatment."

covery and comprehension of the patient's buried Besides, the disguise which the imconscious lU'ge

complexes and to reintegrate and reharmonize his has assumed must be penetrated. These assiuned

mental life. disguises, to which our suppressed cravings resort

A complex greatly decreases efficiency and tends to elude the censor, are called symbols. They are

to make life miserable. It induces obsessions and meant to deceive the patient as well as everybody

inhibitions of various kinds and consquently be- else and bear no recognizable resemblance to the

comes a serious handicap. Being progressive it reality which they cover. 'Thus, for example,"

leads from one inability to another. This expan- writes Dr. Lay, "the fear of crossing open places

sion of the area of the complex is graphically de- symbolizes a fear of quite a different sort which is

Bcribed by Dr. W. Lay, who says: A complex in the unconscious, and never appears above the

being repressed into the unconscious on account of threshold because too terrible to be faced con-

the painful feelings connected with it, at once * sciously." In fact, hate may mask love, fear may

begins in the unconscious to associate with itself a stand for desire. This symbolism renders the dis-

number of other ideas, all of which take on the covery of the real cause extremely difficult. Only

unpleasant quality. These ideas, therefore, are pre- after long and painstaking work will the analyst be

vented by this acquired unpleasantness from com- able to reach down into the hidden depths of the

ing into consciousness. The person in whose mind individual and drag into the lisht the underlying

these complexes are forming will not, without effort, motives and determinants of his S3rmptons and

be able to remember these ideas wl^en he wants attitudes.

them. The complexes will detach from the fore- In order to dig up the buried complex the pat* conscious, where are stored the ideas which are sub- ient's life history is carefully studied, his httle ject to vduntaiy recall, one person's name, another mannerisms are analyzed, he is encouraged to cul- person's address, another's occupation, and drag tivate a passive attitude and to speak freely what- them down towards the unconscious, where they ever may come to his mind. Forgotten names or will nevermore be subject to his will. It is thus seemingly trivial slips of speech point to the of- seen that, when looked at from the under side, — as fending complex who by his clever tricks thus de- it were from the point of view of the unconscious, — feats his own purpose. Of great assistance is the there must be complexes forming down there from word-association method by which the patient is the time of our earliest infancv. The complexes made to betray the concealed wish through his continue to develop and attach more and more reactions to a list of selected words, ideas to themselves until finally our minds, even This process of investigation simultaneously C9n- those of us who are completely normal, are made stitutes the cure; for, m its course the existing up of an overwhelming majority of forgotten or resistance is overcome, the disturbing experience repressed matter, all of it available for the pur- relived in all its emotional intensity or, as the pose of feeding the complexes, and none qf it of psychoanalysts inelegantly say, abreacted, and the any use to ourselves. Only the fullest human lives psychic tension released. This process by which can prevent this formation of a sodden mass of the mind is purged and the complex dissolved and complexes in the unconscious of every one of us." reintegrated with the normal mental life is desig-

Since according to Freud, all mental conflicts are nated as the cathartic method. During the treat-

of a sexual nature and arise out of suppressed ment a stage occurs where the patient transfers to

sexual experiences, it follows that in his view every the analyst the emotional attitude which was at

complex must cluster around a sex idea. Where the root of his trouble. This process is of a very

the sex life takes a normal course, no complex can delicate nature and calls for tactful and cautious

form and no neurotic disturbances occur. He ex- handling.

plicitly states: "In a normal sexual life no neu- The cure is not complete and permanent until rosis IS possible." This dictum has been amended the introverted energor, liberated by the destruc- by Dr. A. A. Brill, one of his disciples, and cast tion of the complex, is sublimated, that is, turned into this more acceptable form: "We can lay it into channels of social activity and diverted to use- down as a fundamental that if a person's love-life ful purposes. A dangerous urge may in Uiis fashion is ade(}uate]y adjusted, his adjustment to life gen- not only be rendered harmless, but converted into erally is normal." a power for ^ood. "The term sublimation," Dr. I.

The Psychoanalytic Treatment. — In order to Coriat explains, "was first introduced by Freud