La résolution par l’intégration: Une invitation à reconsidérer la théorie des pulsions (Resolution by Integration: An Invitation to Reconsider Drive Theory and a discussion with Michel Ody).

Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, PhD


English Abstract

The author presents a revised version of the psychoanalytic drive theory, integrating Freud’s first antagonism of sexual- and self-preservative drives into his second theory of life- and death drives. The preservative drives are conceptualized as the structured part of the death drive, their missing drive sources as biogenic zones, and their lacking energy term as lethe. Following Freud’s 1909 definition, aggression is viewed as a potential of both primary drives, namely their energetic intensification. Reintegrating the preservative drives into the psychoanalytic discourse would open new perspectives on psychic life that have been neglected from Freud till today. Michel Ody shares some points of this reading of the theory of the drives and proposes some complementary aspects. He is more reserved as to the need to introduce a new concept, such as Lethe. In his view, the Freudian and post-Freudian conception of the death drive, in all its dimensions, suffices. In her response to Ody the author wonders whether the options and limitations of different languages and their translations impact on what and how we interpret and elaborate on our concepts.

Revue française de psychanalyse, 82:1: 179-197, 2018. 

Link to Online Publication [both French and English versions are available in the library – email to request].


Discussion with Michel Ody follows the publication:

About the Author: Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, PhD, studied literature, philosophy and psychology in Heidelberg and Zürich, where she worked as a university professor for clinical psychology. She is a training and supervising analyst at the Swiss Psychoanalytic Society and at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Her areas of expertise are metapsychology, in particular drive theory, its clinical application, and applied psychoanalysis of creative processes. She is the author of two books and over 40 articles, published in many languages, and the editor of a Freud Reader and two collections of short stories. Currently she is the Chair of the IPA in Culture Committee.


Previous Posts:

Alfred Margulies, MD (2018). Illusionment and Disillusionment: Foundational Illusions and the Loss of a World. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 66/2: 289–303.

Nancy J. Chodorow, PhD (2018). Love, Respect, and Being Centered Upon: Loewald’s Image of Development in Childhood and the Consulting RoomThe Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 71/1: 224-233.

Rodrigo Barahona, PsyaD (2018). Book Review of Una visión binocular: Psicoanálisis y filosofía (A Binocular Vision: Psychoanalysis and Philosophy). Bárbara Bettocchi & Raúl FatuleLima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú2014, 265 pp. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 66/2: 386-392.

Steven H. Cooper, PhD (2017). The Analyst’s “use” of Theory or Theories: The Play of Theory. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 65/5: 859-882.

Ayelet R. Barkai, MD (2017). Troubling Gender or Engendering Trouble? The Problem With Gender Dysphoria in Psychoanalysis. The Psychoanalytic Review, 104/1: 1-32.

Morris Stambler, MD (2017). 100 Years of Adolescence and its Prehistory From Cave to Computer. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 70/1: 22-39.

Rita K. Teusch, PhD (2017). More Courtship Letters of Freud and Martha Bernays. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 65/1: 111-125.

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