Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Stage IV. [ k- p-]
With the appearance of subjects who dislike both components of the Szondi 'Sch' Ego, at the same moment in time. This generally occurring when such subjects enter school, and begins getting used to a regularized but partial separation from their parents and other caretakers, This occurring along with submission to others who demand they begin a submission to the learning environment. They are expected to be toilet trained, have the rudiments of speech, and be able to relate with the other children and to attend to the teacher without paroxysmal events derailing the process. Which in today's schools is a carefully organized process.
As students of the Szondi Test, our actual test findings come first, the clinical empirics, if known, second and only then can we see for ourselves enough to attempt to reconcile our findings with our theories.
Why, we ask, does a 6 year old, who cannot possibly understand what the genic types of our reagent photos represent, who just a year before liked and same time disliked the [k] gene type photos, now start to only dislike them and show [k- p-], And only a few will start to like paranoid gene line, [p] photos until they are past age 7? In addition, some appear to never at any age, to like the [p] photos.
Stage IV, Disciplined Ego (Sometimes called 'Drill' Ego to reflect the externally imposed aspect.) Suggested also is "Little men and little women Ego (most of whom behave well.)"
[k- p- is the ego picture of the child whose ego has been "successfully" broken down by the overwhelming strength of the imposition. The setting's first appearance as the most frequent Sch setting, occurs at approximately the age of schooling, and remains the leading configuration, among the sixteen possible variations that exist within the Szondi Test for the Sch Vector, through all the age groups.
This means that the most frequently used ego-dynamism throughout life, in an unselected general population, corresponds to that of the "broken-in" six year old child, who, on the basis of experience, has discovered that the adult reward and punishment impositions are stronger than he, and that non-conformity does not work well. (One theory of psychoneurosis is some non-conforming desires forcibly suppressed, early in life are not really given up, but repressed, lie unconscious and cause symptoms later in life.)
Since we cannot actually test infants, but we can reconstruct it theoretically from the manner in which changes in the Sch vector reflect the observable process through which the child deals with life and comes to accept reality.
The observations as presented by Susan Deri are:
I First the adualistic stage, [k0 p-] which corresponded to the complete lack of differentiation between baby person and environment; i.e., the two were experienced as a continuous unit.
II. Then came the dualistic stage [k+ p-], Here the [k] component we assume indicates the emergence of the Ego, the first feelings of being an entity separated from the environment. At this stage, however, the child still feels lt self as omnipotent because, instead of total dependence on a formless environment, objects become recognized as such, Freud believes the infant at his state can hallucinate for short term satisfaction characteristics of any of these need-objects himself or it can cry and rage to force change,
III. There follows, the stage of the breaking down of the omnipotent infant [k+] narcissism strivings. The change represented by a [k-] appearing, making the [k] have minus component. as in a sense, then ambivalent, [k±].
The [k±] arrival was the first indication of recognition of the limitations of one's own ego. A first recognition limited view of that real force that impact him comes from the objects and persons of the environment. The result was a restless paroxysmal behavior, assumed to correspond to the child's unconscious wish to escape the limitations (by now recognized) using its own power. This is the intermediate stage of half-narcissism and half-acceptance of reality. [Deri]
IV. There then appears the [k- p-] configuration, in which now the lack of [k+] strivings shows that [k+] strivings for omnipotence and automatic introjective have been given up nearly completely. and [k-] strivings (negation and repression) have become active. This could be called the stage of the disciplined ego. Again, it is an open question whether the willingness to submit oneself to discipline is brought about by education (its imposition forces) or the more "natural" growth process or whether it is the result of both factors.
The age at which [k- p-] first appears as the most frequent Sch setting coincides with the age at which children's behavior becomes a child level version of realistic. (Little men, little women, not yet really so.) Alternatively, in a satire it might be that “the little wild horses are broken.”
When this occurs it is observable the fantasy play and "make-believe" are given up almost completely, replaced by provided ready made 'story' material, books, movies, video games etc. There is also a noticeable reduction in the amount of physical activity for the sheer pleasure of physical motion.
Children's games at this stage become more organized and goal-directed, and achievement recognition over the burning of energy becomes the more pronounced aim. Children between six and nine are also at an age at which they become increasingly interested in factual knowledge and in learning to manipulate real objects. One could say that this age group is actual object orientated and not ego-oriented.
Children and adults who yield the Sch [k- p-] act according to their most unsatisfied need and strivings yet are unaware of these underlying sources of motivation. Later by our experimental test findings we will attempt to prove this assertion against what we can attribute to strivings belonging to the other settings not belonging to the Szondi Sch Vector but to the other three heredity spheres, each also built as gene bound reciprocal psychiatric named types.
Ego setting, [k- p-] is empirically associated with the lack of psychological insight although many with it seem to function well and show good practical intelligence. It is the Ego setting most frequently in all age groups from six years on.
It should be noted here that the appearance of the high frequency of this ego-picture coincides with the developmental phase at which we assume the child has gone beyond the actuality of the first Oedipal period and enters latency.
Since we have discovered that this is the most common Sch reaction in the unselected adult population, we also must assume:
1) The latency period is a point of fixation strongly favored for a great number of adults.
2) Accord a great number of adults must have psychologic characteristics similar to those of children from six to nine years old.
3) [k- p-] in the clinically symptomless population-is given primarily by those subjects who are extremely realistic, "down to earth" individuals. These are the people for whom "a spade is a spade"; that is, the people by whom the world is perceived and accepted at face value. They are overwhelmed by concrete objects and by reality to such an extent that there is no psychic energy left for introspection. Ego processes as such are not cathected; the person is occupied with solving what to him seem to be "real" problems, and he often considers preoccupation with one's own needs and psychologic welfare to be a ridiculous waste of time. [Deri]
Among the various occupational groups, this Sch con-figuration is found most frequently among the non-intellectual occupations. It is most frequent (approximately 50 per cent) in the group comprising physical laborers, less frequent in business occupations, and is quite rare in professions involving intellectual sublimation. Of all professional groups, it occurs with probably least frequency in psychologists and psychiatrists. The low frequency of the configuration in this group is to be expected since it is comprised of professions which specialize in exactly those problems which most subjects with [k- p-] consider no problems at all.[Deri]
It is worth while to mention an apparent contradiction in the findings that on one hand [k- p-] is the prototype of the disciplined and conforming ego, while its pathologic significance relates to the most antisocial forms of pathology, in psychoses as well as among the various forms of criminality. Most the data on criminology that is here accessible are outdated and in German, but still worth discussing as teaching examples.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Stage III, Szondi's "Paroxymal Ego" or "restless kids".
With Stage III things grows more complex and if forward Ego growth is sufficiently frustrated then our testological data supports the concept that children at times fall back to some of its older baby-like Ego modes.
This regressive quality seems clear to us when adults act childishly emotionally using aspects that are paroxysmal in form, Crying, trembling, hitting, kicking stomping and whining, stuttering, etc. Often associated with such displays is also a testing out what the limits are that they can go to in order to get their way about something.
This Sch-picture is found most frequently in children between four and seven years of age. The frequency of this ego picture in adults is about a third of that in children. (About 4 per cent as against 12 per cent.) [Deri]
Despite the growing child's occasional regressions (perhaps as a combination biologic growth and developing learning skills) almost every person completes the passage through states III and on to IV, V, without budging from [p-] as its mode of projection, and usage in participation with others and its world.
[p-] the Szondi interpretive empirics 'reads' as one who uses unconscious projection as its main mode of reaching to and finding satisfaction of its needs outside itself.
The [p+] mode of using mainly conscious modes of projection (abcent here) as far as we can determine does not appear (with a few exceptions) until latency (range usually 7 to 10) and grows more common with puberty and high school age and even then, it is found in far fewer than the majority who still stay [p-]. This attracts our attention because [p+] we, from empiric observations adds support for the belief that [p+] is a marker of potential for 'rational' self censoring and verbal image use. In addition, at the same time, represents an opening of a path to obsessional disorders.
Of course, to say that these Sch configurations correspond to any particular developmental stages or clinical association is arbitrary, but useful for us to archive a general overview that can permit us to more easily recognize actual test findings that do or do not fit such "Stages" as preconceived. This is a reminder that no one knows everything in this difficult to explore field and all we think we know may not explain all the possibilities of any specific case.
Nevertheless, our rank order numbers aid us to indicate the approximate succession of expected ego-development.
On the basis of our findings, we are justified in saying that in 4 or 5 year olds, State III, (growing uncommon by age 7), that [k± p-] more often follows the childish narcissism stage of [k+ p-] than does a move to the completely minus [k-] which belong to the next two stages [k- p0], [k- P+].
According to Susan Deri, in a relatively short time span, the characteristic Ego [k±p-]] appears as one of the four most frequent Sch configurations in four year olds; and in the group of five year olds we find it as having doubled its frequency.
Susan Deri goes on to attribute the sudden increase of this ego-picture in this median age 5 group as "corresponds to the children's increased reality testing, or in psychoanalytic terminology, it indicates the increasing power of the reality principle over the pleasure principle."
"This means that the child has already discovered not only that he and the environment are two different things (transition from the adualistic (stage I) to the dualistic (stage II) but also that the environment is something one has to adjust to, at least to some extent, and at some times (transition from stage II to stage III). In stage III, the child is still able to indulge in his fantasy-plays; in collectively modified game and reading exercises...however they no longer have the same substitute value for reality as they did in the previous stage. "
"..The mechanism of projecting any fantastic wish onto others (k+,p-) no longer works as well, as it worked before as the child is much more aware and remembers has better awareness than previously what is just pretend, what is real and what triggers hostility and punishment and fails to satisfy its wishes. In this it almost seems as if they would educate themselves for testing reality."
"Whether this change in their relationship to themselves and to the world has been brought about by having been subjected to parental and other environmental "powers," or whether the change is based more on some sort of an indigenous "law" of development, can not be determined; at least not on the basis of our test data. "
"The fact is that their behavior as well as their test profiles shows that something drastic is happening at this age in regard to their relationship to reality."
"The ambivalence in regard to whether they should still attempt to free themselves from the limitations of the realistic world, or give in and adjust to the limitations as unavoidable, is reflected in the [k±] factor."
"On the other hand, the fact that they are still children living out their needs in play and education directed simulations yet done without being aware of what these needs really are, is in the test shown by the continued [p-] "
The characteristic physical signs of restlessness of children's and the adults equivalent led Szondi to speak of [k±p-] as being the, "Ego paroxysmal".
[Children in this "in-between" stage of Ego-development are extremely active and restless physically; they are constantly "on the go," climbing, running, bicycling, etc. We assume that the driving force for this restlessness derives its intensity from the child's unconscious wish to free himself from the restraints of reality through activity rather than through the fantasy of the younger child.
In any age group, [k± p-] is characteristic of subjects who are consciously fighting for the freedom of their egos, who, on the one hand rebel against external laws, and on the other hand, do not dare to ignore these laws. [Deri]
1. Symptoms of restlessness at the physical as well as at the psychologic level. They like to change their environment, enjoy occupations involving travelling, enjoy changing their group of friends and sometimes even their type of work or profession.
2. People with this ego setting, feel driven by undefinable forces and crave for change in general.
3. In some, their behavior often seems inconsistent not only to the onlooker, but to themselves.
4. They can feel dissatisfied in any situation, which seems to imply stability, but are unable to give rational reasons for their dissatisfaction.
5. Some may due to their wish to conform, may drive themselves into exactly such situations which imply submission to some sort of rules and limitations, and from which they then, seek to escape.
6. The pathologic implications of this Sch configuration refer to various forms of 'paroxysmal symptoms'.
7. Even the relatively well-adjusted subjects in this Stage III category, can best be described as paroxysmal individuals, because of their psychomotor as well as their physical restlessness.
8. The pathologic manifestations of the Ego setting called /paroxysmal/ by Szondi, when reinforced by certain setting in the Paroxysmal Vector (The Vector should not be confused with the Ego setting.) may result in excessive drive or conflict involve a wide range of possible symptoms from real epileptic grand-mal seizures to stuttering.
9. [k± p-], is found in certain types of antisocial adults, often the unstable vagrant.
10. Sudden bursts of obsessional thinking [k0 p+] (We believe this is brief or so transient it is seldom is found in our test data, but was reported as significant in the subject's symptom history).
1. Truancy from school, or in running away from home. These are the usual reasons why one finds so many children who are sent to the juvenile court giving this particular reaction in the Sch Vector. -[Deri]
2, Hyperactivity? As used in today's classification system? Not researched.
3. Attention deficit? [You would have to include some other various Sch settings and other impulse disorders to assert this.] - Not researched, but likely connected with significance in some specific cases,
Friday, August 14, 2009
The Unfolding of the Ego.
Normally, Ego development takes place according to a detailed six stage schema as proposed by Susan Deri, "Introduction to the Szondi Test" [Grune & Strattion, N.Y. 1949. Her order is followed here, but the charactizations are arbitrarily revised into capsulizations, for our study purposes.
1. (k0 p-)
Adualism: The indistinction between the ego and the other (up to one year). [See J. Paiget ] [In the adult it is called the 'paranoid Ego' and an indication of a regressive thought mode.
2. (k+ p-)
Childish Omnipotence: The magical-autistical omnipotence (pre-oedipian period). [See Melanne Kline's, not so benign view of infancy.] [See, J. Lacan," Mirror Phase"]
3. (± -)
Beginning accomidation, turbulence, resistance. (First Oedipian Separations) [See Winnicot ] [See Toilet Training, Early Care Takers.] [The "Restless Ego" of many talented Adults.]
4. (- -)
Aceptance, accomidation (The pressure to conform and the social rewards, the latency period. [The Drill Ego of Adults-Suggesting that many never fully go beyound this mode of Ego development.]
5. (- 0) If aceptance and accomidation is successfil, the start of adolescence the young person may then try to replicate that which was accepted earler ['The Mild Compulive Ego' when found in profiles, one or two decades later. ]
6. (- +)
Adolescence. Mating impluse asserts on several levels and the desire previously repressed reaches consciouness backed by the newly aquired physical ability to do so. That this will meet with many set backs and frustrations, awell known feature of passing through adolesence. For many it will be the first serious Ego failure and the overwhelemed Ego may move to a kind of grid lock crises [k± p±] or what seems like a tunning off of thinking and feeling [k0 p0], or some will move back to older Ego settings with which they feel more secure however childish it may seem. Many show an appearance of [k+] and as well an awareness of depression [d+] as they restart a new search for fullfillment. In adults it is the 'Fully compulsive Ego'.
For us as students of human nature, we ask what is it beyond this theorical passage of the Ego that will address our desire to understand the larger issues and concerns in respect to ultimate behaviour? What can we by this Szondi Test thatoffers insight in those humans who develop atypical or outright abnormal forms of existance?
The best answer I can offer now is, we can recast almost everything you previoully believed to be psychologically caused, in the Szondi coding system, but our new metaphors also leave many who's and why's awaiting anwers. The metaphors of the settings, and the strivings and what they represent are crafted from the unconscious choices by tested persons. This is done without extracting a verbal inventory, in fact you need not even speak the language of the tested subject, as long is he follows the choice procedure correctly.
Monday, August 10, 2009
While there is logic in calling the directing mental force of the mankind species, his Ego or his Will.
While there is logic in calling the directing mental force of the mankind species, his Ego or his Will. Although immediately the question arises about translating of the German 'Ego' into English as 'Will' or just use 'Ego' for psychology study as that which spans the concept. This later choice was almost universally taken psychoanalysis. Those psychologies seeking to distance themselves from Freudian views, substituted, selves, powers, levels and other invented terms to cover the same ground. There is nothing wrong in this, in fact it may advance our thinking on certain particulars. This practice however leads the student to believe he is obligated to stick to one teacher's view even after leaving that teacher's sphere of influence.
Enter now, the schema of the Ego offered by Leopold Szondi. (Psychiatrist, University professor, and Genealogist,) who by decades of testing individuals, as found various population, where subjects normal and others clinically differentiated were used to fill in the sixteen various possibilities in each of the four heredity spheres that his invention permitted. The Szondi Test filtered out findings by a projected (Szondi believed to be 'genic' conditioned) affinity. The findings had to explain the known clinical facts. The findings when correctly read back to a reader unaware of the facts "blind", i. e., gender, age and occupation, then had to describe generally and diagnostically correctly that person. This procedure being done in much the the same manner as had been done with the Rorschach Test, which Szondi and his co-workers were quite familiar with at the time.
We focus here specifically on Szondi's new Ego examples, as artificially separated from the other three heredity spheres also called 'Vectors' The one's that the Ego [Sch] must mediate. This includes aspects both conscious and unconscious.
Szondi does not call it forthright the 'Ego Vector' he sets it 'schizophrene' and codes 'Sch'. It is build of the two gene lines, which normally balance each other, (Catatonia and Paranoia) which are capable of shifting this balance within certain limitations. These limitations set the manner that an individual uses his Ego to handle his impulses, needs and strivings, all generated by the basic impulses. One can assume the basic impulses are more or less the same as what populates Freud's Id and their censor the Super-Ego. (later we will seek to demonstrate from variously analyzed test series that, the Szondi Ego, his, 'Sch' is the rational component of a larger censorship system. This requires including aspects of Szondi's Paroxsmal/Affect '[P]' Vector to be then examined under 'The Profile Middle' term.
The The Sch constellation [k0 p-] under discussion now really should be termed the "pre-ego stage" and, with reference to its place in ego-development, logically should be given the rank number zero rather than 1. Yet we are used to referring to this setting as the first stage and designate it as the "adualistic" stage of the ego, which in fact means that there is no ego in the usual psychological sense of the concept.