Cyril Couve

Cyril Couve is a Fellow of the BPAS and a Training Analyst in full-time analytic practice.  He was a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Senior member of the Adult Department at the Tavistock and Portman Trust until 2008.  His main psychoanalytic areas of interest are pathological organisations of the personality, depression and obsessional disorders.

He won the BPAS Herbert Rosenfeld Essay Prize in 2001 for his paper: “ Obsessional Dread of the Dead: The Relation between Obsessional and  Schizoid Organisations”.  He has presented various papers at local and overseas conferences in the three areas afore mentioned. He was also one of the co-authors of Elizabeth Bott-Spillius, (2011): “ The New Dictionary of Kleinian Thought “, Routledge.  He is an active teacher of theory, consultation, and clinical seminars in the training programme of the BPAS.

Outline of lecture:

Cyril Couve writes:

"This lecture is based on a paper that I presented at a Melanie Klein Trust conference on the open theme of the Bad Object. I chose a case of moderate to severe depression. At the centre of depressed states lies a Bad Object: the tormenting or despotic super-ego. Against its crippling effects the ego resorts to the use of omnipotent manic defences. The protection they give is an attempt to triumph over the Bad Object. But they entrench omnipotent phantasies of grandeur, over-activity - often sexualised - narcissistic self-sufficiency, contempt and triumph over the objects the needy self depends on. They provide magical repair which prevents making proper reparation for, and resolution of, the original conflicts that have led to the despotic super-ego. When analysis weakens the manic defences it means encountering the full force of the Despotic object in the analytic relationship."

Recommended reading:

Freud, S. “ Mourning and Melancholia”, Standard Edition 14: 237-58.
Klein, M. (1935) ‘A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 16: 145-74; reprinted in The Writings of Melanie Klein, vol. 1, London: Hogarth Press (1975), 262-89
Klein, M. (1940) ‘Mourning and its relation to manic-depressive states’, International Journal of Psychoanalysis,21: 125-53; reprinted in The Writings of Melanie Klein, vol. 1, London: Hogarth Press (1975), 344-69

Further reading:
Petot, J.-M.(1982) Melanie Klein vol. 2 – The Ego and the Good Object, 1932-1960, see chapters 1,2,3,4. International Universities Press Inc. (1991)
Bott Spillius, E. (2011) The New Dictionary of Kleinian Thought, main entry 5. Depressive Position pp.84-102, Routledge.
Segal, H. (1979). Klein , ch.7, The Depressive Position, pp.78-90. Fontana Modern Masters