When the Disordered Becomes Ordered: Primitive Ways of Psychological Organization

Bruce Stevens

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In any psychotherapy that involves character work, it is common for the psychotherapist to encounter primitive layers of the psyche. BRUCE STEVENS draws on various psychoanalytic theories and literature to present a schema that identifies five primitive forms of transference: extension, adoration, magical, attack and persecutory. When these appear in the clinical context they can provide valuable insight into the development of the individual's capacity to differentiate between self and object. Although often puzzling in their manifestations, Stevens argues that these mechanisms reflect the psyche's attempts to provide some order to what has become disordered. He further proposes that an ultimate and fundamental factor that may underlie these primitive mechanisms is how the individual perceives and relates to the power of the other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalPsychotherapy in Australia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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