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Igor A. Caruso's development of a psychosocial understanding of the unconscious and its cultural transformation and alienation

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In his approach, Igor A. Caruso, one of the founders of the International Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies, started with a traditional Christian anthropological view on human development. His early conception of psychosocial disturbances described the loss of cognitive and social ability as a loss of orientation on the objective values of human responsibility and attachment. Caruso later transformed his views on neurosis into a concept of individual alienation of transcendence. In the 1960s, he conceived psychosocial development as an ongoing individual dealing with the social and collective alienation of human nature, life, and work. The process of becoming a cultural person obliges the ego to face its individual unconscious drive demands, as well as the unconscious demands of society. Caruso's stays in Latin America – especially in Brazil and Mexico – caused him to reinforce the interference of materialistic theories on socialization with the psychoanalytic knowledge of individual unconscious dynamics. He understood the psychoanalytic situation as a ‘micro-social model’ that symbolizes the collective and the individual alienated conditions. In the 1970s, Caruso's conception was understood as a Freudo-Marxist point of view on alienated psychosocial reality. With his view on psychoanalytic treatment as a dialectic and relational process, Caruso demanded a psychoanalytical responsibility within collective changes.
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Keywords: Austrian Circle of Psychoanalysis; Igor A. Caruso; alienation; personalistic depth psychology; progressive personalization; symbolization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 3, 2014

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