Further Reflections on Transference, Countertransference and Containment in Extreme Settings

Writing about clinical work with psychotic patients, Bion noted with his inimitably dry, understated irony: “It follows that it is a matter of difficulty for the analyst to conduct himself in such a manner that his association with the analysand is beneficial to the analysand”. In preceding passages he had discussed such patients’ hallucinated and deluded constructions, products of massive evacuations of both persecuting and idealising internal scenarios into external reality to an extent which obliterated awareness that there even might be differentiated and autonomous internal (unconscious phantasy) and external (material reality and other minds) worlds at all. Real other people, analysts and mental health professionals included, become so infused with patients’ projective identifications that everything they say or do is “interpreted” or “perceived” in a manner almost impossible to grasp when compared with their intentions.

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Alan Corbett

Posted on Jan 19, 2017

Dr. Alan Corbett: A Man Enormously Loved

By Professor Brett Kahr

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Christmas of 2016 proved to be a very heavy-hearted one for literally hundreds, if not thousands, of mental health professionals around the world, who have had to mourn the loss of our dear, dear friend Alan Corbett, who has died at far too early an age.

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Challenging the Myths Surrounding Sexual Abuse and Sexual Offenders

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There are few crimes which evoke more horror and loathing than sexual abuse, especially when the victim is a child. Yet in the late 1960s, when I first began a residency in psychiatry, there were also no established evaluation and treatment programs for the sexual offender.

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A Journey Through the Dark Boroughs of a Pedophilic Cannibal’s Mind

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Nathaniel Bar Jonah would regularly say, when questioned about the murder of the 10-year-old boy, “They can’t prove anything because there is no body,” and Bar Jonah was right, because he ate the young boy. 

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Going beneath the skin of the contemporary fascination with serial killers: the Allure of Power, Control, Dominance

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‘I hadn’t started out per se to ‘study’ serial murderers, now many years ago.  I was doing neurological research on the NASA Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.  Increasingly I was becoming interested in neuropathology of primitive personalities.  In biochemistry we go to the molecular structure of a compound to see what its chemical signature is composed of.  What then was the signature of what may be the most primitive form of man; who represented man at his serially worst: A murderer who killed for seemingly pleasurable gain and who used power, control and dominance, as a way of torturing his victims before he murdered them.  In those days the term ‘serial killer’ was not yet in the public sector as it resides today nor did the idea of a serial killer carry the current voyeuristic allure.

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