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By Karl König

In response to vast scientific observations and utilizing theories of ego psychology and item kin idea, the writer proposes the idea that of a phobic personality constitution. there are lots of types of phobias, yet all phobic sufferers percentage 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 instead. This issues interactions with marriage companions, colleagues at paintings and with a therapist. The phobic personality constitution is constructed throughout the period of time while obsessive-compulsive personality constructions are shaped.

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

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Extra resources for Anxiety and Personality: The Concept of a Directing Object and its Applications

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The hospital where I worked while preparing and writing this book, had many such patients, who could have been treated in an outpatient setting. They came from all over West Germany.

In the classical oedipal situation, a child may perhaps generate fantasies of some kind of sexual relationship with a parent, but normally father or mother do not participate and such fantasies are not transformed into real interactions. An adult allowing his behaviour to be determined by oedipal fantasies can experience aggressive impulses towards a person his partner relates to. This can lead to acts that prove destructive and, in consequence, self-destructive. Any prospect of acting like this may cause preconscious anxiety that becomes conscious if the person’s mechanisms of defence are not activated or, if activated, are not strong enough to keep the anxiety caused by an antisocial impulse unconscious.

Some agoraphobics of the counterphobic variety experience foreign countries in a different way: as places of adventure, posing challenges they can take up. This can help them overcome their agoraphobic anxiety. At the same time, they liberate themselves from their mothers’ efforts to keep them tied to home, forbidding them to leave the house or garden connected to the house. Phobic men who travel alone in foreign countries may feel free to have sexual intercourse there since they can imagine that no long-lasting relationship is intended by their sexual partner.

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