Dialogues from the Italian Psychoanalytic Journal - Archive

Comments by Paolo Chiari



The paper written by Bolognini, an expert analyst and important representative of the IPA, offers many aspects to reflect on.

From the point of view of the analytic practice, Bolognini invites us to supervise, thanks to the necessary split of the Ego, not only what happens in our own mind, into the patient’s mind and in the analytic field, but also in the “transference of individual analysts to their formative Authors and Schools”.

As the Nicola Abel-Hirsch’s comment shows, this kind of transfer (adherence / eclecticism), which the analyst has with the theories, can be a way to defend himself/herself against the difficult analytic work; the idealization of the theories – as Theodore Jacobs maintains might not have been sufficiently analyzed during the training analysis.

I believe that if an analyst knows a theory and he feels he owns it and he can use it, he is enabling a function of the Ego; if, instead, he is owned by the theory, so that he can’t think differently, the imposition of Super-Ego is winning.

In other situations the necessity of security and control can play a considerable role in the need of adhesion: the room for the new theorizations will be created only through the generational change.

Year by year, with courage and humility, each analyst writes his authentic training novel. I fear that making a theory sacred involves the risk of thinking of the organization as sacred. The painful story about Nina Searl, told by Fred Busch, highlights very well the repercussions of the institution on the individual analyst.

It does not surprise me that which Bolognini writes about the analyst who is not a master in his own house, (“given the surprising frequency of mismatches between analyst’s conscious theoretical outlook and the implicit and unconscious theoretical assumptions which can instead be inferred from some or their operational choices”) because now we know that Freud was the first one who did it. The “perfect analyst” doesn’t exist; maybe the encounter between the patient and the analyst is, first of all, a match between their unconsciouses. What role does the implicit operation play? Perhaps this is the border which is waiting to be explored.

From an institutional point of view, Bolognini indicates that future analysts could enter into the “third dialectic area” through the creation of the “Fourth Pillar” in the candidates training process. In this way, the future generations will be able to share and explore freely their analytic work, listening to other’s clinical reports, learning from each other.

In this way the analyst during his work will have as an “oedipal third” not only a theory, but also the colleagues and the institution, which will become his “internal group”, thus avoiding the risky solitude of the analytic room.


Paolo Chiari is a Full Member of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI) and of IPA. Former Scientific Secretary of the Milan Psichoanalytic Center (CMP)