A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

vi                 THE ANATOMY OF HUMAN PERSONALITY             24$
love-object. The adolescent wants to love someone ' just like mother ', or ' just like dad \ Technically this is called ' the resolution of the Oedipus complex \
In neurotic cases this development does not proceed so smoothly. The hysteric is fixated at the infantile stage of parent-attachment. These early, unconscious strivings of the hysterical individual are so strong as to keep the individual from making a satisfactory heterosexual adjustment later on in life. He cannot free himself from the Oedipus situation. A wife who shrinks from sexual relations or is frigid is so because unconsciously she is living out her infantile wish. * I want to be the wife of my father only ; I will give myself up to no one else/ Her sexuality is fixated ; it has not progressed to an adult stage. Emotional outbursts and temper tantrums point to this infantile situation. It is the business of the psychoanalyst in such a case to show to the patient the source of the emotional restriction that results in hysterics, frigidity and marital disharmony. The Oedipus complex, Freud has said, forms the very centre of the neurosis. If the patient cannot weather his entry into adult life by overcoming his Oedipus attachment, he falls back into the infantile situation. It is a common observation that women who are unable to make an adjustment with their husbands fly back to their parental home for sympathy. The retreat back to mother (and father) is a regression back to an infantile state where the individual becomes a child again, soothed back to contentment by the sympathy of the parent.
Many followers of Freudian methods doubt the universality of the Oedipus complex. Ross I96 (p. 99), for example, discussing the evidence for it, sums up as follows : ' The phenomena of the Oedipus complex are frequently to be found ; the explanation of Freud