By Karl König

According to large medical observations and utilizing theories of ego psychology and item family members idea, the writer proposes the idea that of a phobic personality constitution. there are various types of phobias, yet all phobic sufferers proportion a particular disturbance in ego improvement concerning 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 in its place. This matters interactions with marriage companions, colleagues at paintings and with a therapist. The phobic personality constitution is built throughout the period of time while obsessive-compulsive personality buildings are shaped.

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

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

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He wants, rather, to leave, to run away. In psychotherapy, such a patient may experience an interpretation as an attack. In some cases, this may make the patient “run away” by terminating the therapy. Running away from a therapist then corresponds to a pre-formed way of behaving. Frances and Dunn (1975) adopt concepts of object relations theory, with a conflict between autonomy and attachment: a child wants to remain close to its mother and losing this state of closeness generates anxiety. In this, they resemble Bowlby (1970), and also Rhead (1969).

They regard inanimate objects that can serve as companions as having a symbolic meaning for the patient. For my part I consider such an inanimate object as preventing the patient from acting in a way that gets him into trouble. Attachment Bowlby (1973) considers separation anxiety as genetically determined: it can trigger reactions that enable a child to survive. He (Bowlby, 1970) sees the way agoraphobics look for a companion as a clinging to a mother substitute, caused by the patient’s having experienced early separation from the mother or by having experienced an insecure relationship with the mother.

Fenichel (1939) describes counterphobic symptoms as overcompensating for phobic anxiety. A counterphobic person does not avoid anxiety-generating situations. He looks out for them, for example, in sports. Thus, a phobic VA R I O U S T Y P E S O F P H O B I A 21 can either avoid, or can behave in a counterphobic way, which is the very opposite of avoidance. Weissman (1966) sees a phobic’s companion as a counterphobic object, in the sense that he counteracts anxiety. This is an idiosyncratic use of the term “counterphobic”.

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