Anxiety and Personality: The Concept of a Directing Object by Karl König

By Karl König

In line with huge medical observations and utilizing theories of ego psychology and item relatives concept, the writer proposes the concept that of a phobic personality constitution. there are numerous varieties of phobias, yet all phobic sufferers proportion a selected disturbance in ego improvement relating to what the writer calls the inner directing item, which directs habit according to social norms, and evolves in interplay with mom. Phobic sufferers search for exterior directing items as an alternative. This matters interactions with marriage companions, colleagues at paintings and with a therapist. The phobic personality constitution is constructed through the period of time whilst obsessive-compulsive personality buildings are shaped.

Applications of this drawback psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy and psychoanalytically-based counseling, in addition to difficulties of therapists with a phobic personality constitution.

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Additional info for Anxiety and Personality: The Concept of a Directing Object and its Applications

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According to Weiss, leaving a house to go into the street may make agoraphobics feel they are leaving part of their ego behind. Patients who experience anxiety in their own house or flat can be helped by a companion. Weiss sees a companion as being able to substitute for a deficient part of the ego (verstümmeltes Ich, mutilated ego). This comes close to my idea of an ego which lacks something, namely a well-functioning internal directing object. The difference between our conceptions lies in the idea of how a deficient ego comes to develop.

He (Bowlby, 1970) sees the way agoraphobics look for a companion as a clinging to a mother substitute, caused by the patient’s having experienced early separation from the mother or by having experienced an insecure relationship with the mother. Experiences of separation, in his view, cause aggression in the child. ) Bowlby describes three types of family: one parent, usually the mother, is anxious and clinging, so clings to the child and prevents him from moving about. The child is afraid of losing his parents, for example when the parents fight; the child fears that something bad may happen if he goes away, so wants to stay at home; equally the parents fear that something bad will happen to the child, if he leaves the house (most frequently the case in school phobia, less so in agoraphobia).

During the hour, she may give long explanations. In this, she resembles obsessive-compulsive therapists, but the motives are different. Obsessive-compulsive therapists want their patients to behave in the way the therapist considers to be right. A phobic therapist wants to prevent the patient from suffering “accidents” in the area of social relationships. Confronting patients, as conceptualised by Greenson (1967), means asking them to turn their attention to certain aspects of what they have said or done, or avoided saying and doing.

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