The Mechanism of Orality

THE CLINICAL PICTURE is called THE MECHANISM OF ORALITY, which describes in more detail the 5th layer (described in Layer and Drama dropdown links under Adult). Only the 5th layer is conscious: it is here where symptoms become so damaging, so deblitating and repetitive, that, out of desperation, client meets psychoanalyist.

The term, first described by Bergler, "is derived from the fact that the pattern develops during the earliest phase of psychic development of the child- the oral phase- in which the mouth is the main organ of contact with reality...

Those children who do NOT adapt themselves to a reality which is stronger than they are, are the stuff of which the full-fledged psychic masochist is made. 'With train schedule regularity' these future neurotics re-enact the 3-step MECHANISM OF ORALITY:

1. Through your behaviour, or the misuse of an external situation, you unconsciously provoke, and/or create, and/or misuse disappointment or refusal, unconsciously identifying the outer world ALWAYS with the image of the refusing mother. (Again: the unconscious has no sense of the passage of time, no logic or memory; it functions only through instincts, drives, impulses).

2. Not realizing that you yourself have brought about this disappointment, you become pseudo-aggressive, acting in righteous indignation and seemingly in self-defense.

3. You then consciously indulge in self-pity, unconsciously enjoying psychic masochism: "This can happen only to me."

The result is much like the courtroom scene previously described in the Adult / Drama link.

PLEASE REVIEW THE MATERIAL IN THIS SECTION (3) CAREFULLY, know it well, before moving on to
4. Treatment.