By Frances Tustin
"[Tustin] bargains very sensitively and sensibly with the knotty challenge of oldsters' contribution to autistic improvement, supplying a balanced interactive view which doesn't allocate blame. Her dialogue of autistic items and autistic shapes is illuminating and has frequent medical applicability. This e-book is very advised studying" - Mary Boston, British magazine of scientific Psychology.
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Additional resources for Autistic Barriers in Neurotic Patients
From her description of them they sounded very like the tactile autistic shapes I had learned about from the autistic children; indeed in a paper published in the International Review of Psycho-Analysis in 1984, I had said that these autistic shapes seemed to be a kind of 'tactile hallucination' (see Chapter 7). I also found that Michael Fordham (1976) had coined the term 'self-object', and that Winnicott had used the term 'subjective object' (Winnicott, 1958), for similar phenomena. (However, although the self-object and the subjective object have certain features in common with autistic objects, I have found it necessary to distinguish between normal and pathological manifestations.
Autistic objects are pathological. They are not sucked but are hard objects which are clutched. ) I found these separate confirmations from various sources unconnected with each other, and with a different orientation from my own, very reassuring, in that they indicated that my findings were not idiosyncratic to me alone. You will remember that Spitz has said that such confirmation is the only validation we can have in psychoanalytic investigations. Schizophrenictype children (or 'confusional entangled' children, as I call them) are very open and tell us about their strange misconceptions quite clearly.
A phobia is terror of a specific part of the outside world, usually of one that has been attractive to the individual, whereas autism is terror of almost the whole of the outside world, particularly of the mother. When phobic patients are analysed at depth, we are likely to find that bodily separateness from the mother has been experienced as an insufferable catastrophe. This,will be illustrated in various chapters in the book. This catastrophe is also at the heart of the manic defence. There are even some so-called borderline patients who are so T H E N A T U R E OF PSYCHOGENIC A U T I S M 27 frozen with terror that they do not know what feelings are, a condition now termed 'alexythymia' (Grotstein, 1983).
Autistic Barriers in Neurotic Patients by Frances Tustin