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June 2022

Body psychology and interpretative methods - Work with second-order interpretations (process interpretations)

Journal/Book: Forum Psychoanal. 1996; 12: 175 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10010. Springer Verlag. 19-30.

Abstract: In our attempts to approach the central conflicts of patients with psychosomatic disorders, we often observe states that can be described as ''zones of cognitive destruction.'' In these zones the mental processes undergo qualitative changes culminating in a ''psychic crash.'' There is a loss of language, symbolization and psychic distance, accompanied by a parallel loss of a sense of time, ego awareness and of the feeling of vitality. These states show us that the patient's original experience, which has not yet been worked through, contains not only elements of conflict, but is also associated, in the pathological zone, with destruction of the ability to symbolize, i.e. of basic thought processes. This paper describes how these states can be made the subject of therapy, which then aims to assist the patient in restoring his or her damaged thought processes. This is accomplished by using a language of interpretation involving interpretations of the second order, i.e. process interpretations. To provide a theoretical framework for this process, we have introduced the terms semiotic progression and semiotic regression.

Note: Article R Plassmann, Burg Klin, D-36457 Stadtlengsfeld, Germany

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