Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, March 17

"In essence then, I believe that man's destructiveness
as a psychological phenomena is secondary; that it arises
originally as the failure of the self-object environment
to meet the child's needs for optimal- not maximal,
it should be stressed-empathic responses. Aggression,
furthermore, as a psychological phenomenon, is not
elemental. Like the inorganic building blocks of the organic
molecule, it is, from the beginning, a constituent of the
child's assertiveness, and under normal circumstances
it remains alloyed to the assertivness of the adult mature

Destructive rage, in particular, is always motivated by
an injury to the self. The deepest level to which
psychoanalysis can penetrate when it traces destructiveness
(whether it is bound in a symptom or character trait or
expressed in a sublimated or aim-inhibited form) is not
reached when it ha been able to uncover a destructive
biological drive, is not reached when the analysand has become
aware of the fact that he wants (or wanted) to kill. This
awareness is but an immediate station on the road to the
psychological "bedrock": to the analysand's becoming
aware of the presence of a serious narcissistic injury, and
injury that threated the cohesion of the self, especially
a narcissistic injuty inflicted by the self-object of childhood."

Heinz Kohut
*Restoration of the Self*
International Universities Press, 1977