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Enchantments and disenchantments in the formation and use of psychoanalytic theories about psychic reality. By Stefano Bolognini


Enchantments and disenchantments in the formation and use of psychoanalytic theories about psychic reality

by Stefano Bolognini

The aim of these reflections is to explore, from a viewpoint that is largely clinical (in the broad sense), using a wide-angle lens and in the full awareness that I can only be approximate, some examples of what really happens in most analysts’ minds when they engage , on the one hand – individually and/or in groups – with a clinical situation, and on the other with the theoretical assumptions to which they consciously believe that they adhere. This is a subject extensively explored by the Theoretical Working Party of the European Psychoanalytic Federation (EPF), of which I have been a member for some years, and I am returning to the topic independently and at some distance in time.

Among the many benefits from this experience, I wish to record here the increased awareness of how little the “Theoretical Ego” is master in its own house, given the surprising frequency of mismatches between analysts’ conscious theoretical outlook and the implicit and unconscious theoretical assumptions which can instead be inferred from some of their operational choices.

More specifically, however, I intend to explore, at least to a small degree, the complex interweaving of object relations and internal fantasied interdependences which at a deep level sustain psychoanalysts’ theoretical investments: what are the style and atmosphere of these internal links and at what levels of depth, authenticity, and consequent creative potential does each individual analyst build, inhabit, and utilise a unique internal laboratory when he or she interacts with patients; and finally, how do we set up in ourselves the ideas and models of mental functioning and psychic reality which form the explicit or implicit imaginative basis of such a laboratory?

In brief, I am less interested in investigating here the “what” of analysts’ orientation and theoretical baggage – in other words, their conceptual apparatus – than certain aspects of the “how” of their training and development in this sphere.

I will take quite a broad sweep, making the immediate point that many of my reflections are the inevitable combined result of a series of personal experiences, connected not only with, ab ovo, the environment I grew up in, but with the institutional and inter-relational encounters evolved over many years of attendance at and involvement in inter-society, scientific, and professional activities at various levels (most recently, the creation of the IPA’sInter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis– IRED); but also with the reading and study of different cultural areas whose methodologies sometimes show interesting similarities to those of the psychoanalytic world, not only on an institutional level, but also on a theoretical-methodological one.

History of art, for example, by means of branching historical reconstruction of artists’ individual progress, environments, movements (often also in a concrete geographical sense) and personal contacts, convincingly shows how – apart from the original talent of individuals – the influences of their encounters, exchanges and challenges may be decisive for the evolution of the conceptions and productions. Here, I shall point out en passantan analogy with a macroscopic biographical factor:  in many cases, analysts’ theoretical orientations were originally decided by the foreign language they studied at school. In another context, the history of religions is likewise indicative of how beliefs (and the consequent apparatuses which sustain them) were formed and tended to be maintained for much more complex reasons than the theoretical or iconographic assumptions on which they were officially based, and to which an absolute value was attributed, one that functioned both as a structural element of the religious institution and as a reassuring map and compass – in that it provided some kind of meaning – for single individuals’ view of the world.

I will return to these points during my reflections, referring, for example, to the outright “artistic tendencies” and “wars of religion” which have periodically run through the psychoanalytic community since its foundation; and I will be able to cite some of these from personal experience as an eye witness.


But what I now intend to point out is the fundamental importance of the powerful, inescapable, and never sufficiently analysed transference of individual analysts to their formative Authors and Schools: trying to distinguish, at least along general lines, between investments which lead to developments which authentically contribute to individual identity on the one hand (and we would speaking here in terms of natural, physiological transferential components that are necessary for growth); and on the other hand, the less authentic, less profound forms of link – which may be organized on more incorporative, imitative bases that can even substitute for the Self – with authors and theories whose real assimilation and integration are missing from within the single individual, becoming instead a garment, when they are not an exoskeleton or suit of armour, an outer support, not truly introjective, to a professional Self that is in fact weak and insufficiently coherent.

Briefly, I am referring to those cases in which an analyst, without realising it, defensively becomesan Author (who is not him or her) instead of working withthat Author and/or others, hosting them internally, and instead of entering into dialogue with them in a regime of mutual separateness (Bolognini, 2013). The risk of a substitutive identification may increase when the object of identification is single, majestic, and idealized like a single parent who can never be lived up to.

I will also state in advance that, from experience, I believe


  • that different theories about psychic reality have their own validity and (at least occasional) usefulness, regardless of their mutual logical and theoretical compatibility. In my opinion, this position, which challenges the logical principle of “Occam’s Razor”, is empirically realistic, based on the distinction between what is logical and what is psycho-logical, and grants a special and partial function to the primary process in creative passages, occasionally suspending the principle of non-contradiction.


  • that there is a fundamental difference between a superficial eclecticism of manner and a theoretical pluralism which acknowledges and appreciates the potential richness of varied scientific sources and outlooks;


  • that between the opposite poles of a) an extreme, almost Platonic conception of “psychoanalytic ideas existing in themselves”, and b) a theoretical relativism so systematic that it can become characterological and defensive in relation to enduring and substantial links and investments, I see myself instead occupying c) a third area, dialectic, open, and suspended, in which the seasoned associative and creative freedom of an analyst may allow him the right and the duty to construct (and in some cases, co-construct with the patient) the model of psychic reality which best represents what happens in the analyst himself, in the patient, and in them both in the shared field;


  • that a faith in the heuristic and creative potential of the preconscious has sometimes allowed me (and at other times prompted memalgré moi) to evoke by association theoretical configurations and concepts belonging to writers who are very dissimilar from each other, which nevertheless turned out to be tailor-made for describing that specific situation. As far as I know, this experience is shared by many colleagues, some of whom have come to acknowledge – with the same astonishment – a feeling almost of guilt on such occasions at having “betrayed” the school of thought to which they actually, or declare themselves to, belong.


Lastly, I will say that these reflections aim to take nothing away from the validity of the most accredited theories about the formation and functioning of subjects’ psychic reality: however, they are intended to limit the possible undue extensions, certain dogmatic tendencies, invasive applications, and rigidity in the use of the theories themselves. I wish to highlight those – undeniably ubiquitous – factors which may change their nature from that of useful, meaningful constructions endowed with internal coherence but sometimes provisional (the “scaffolding”, the “provisional ideas” of which Freud wrote in 1899, in chapter VII of The Interpretation of Dreams, 536) into sacred objects, fetishistic reifications, and elements of the identity that are excessively intolerant of what is Other than the Self.

To put it briefly, I would like these notes, if possible, to help reduce to some extent the excessively idealizing residual transferential components which may interfere with analysts’ use of the broad and richly detailed contemporary theoretical-clinical heritage.

What I am considering instead is the fostering of a condition of appreciation but also of disenchanted respect towards single psychoanalytic theorizations, especially when these are proposed as absolute and “totalitarian”, without taking into account their necessary complexity.

They should be regarded as admirable tools rather than as absolute truths.

Another important element I intend to point out concerns the presence – generally silent and implicit, but often perceived by patients – of theory in the analytic field during sessions.

In many situations, the analyst’s theory plays the part of a “third” in the oedipal sense: the patient experiences the analyst as relating to it internally, more or less as an oedipal parent relates to the other parent while interacting with the child/patient. The fact that the analyst’s theoretical code is not concretely present (i.e. not “explicitly stated”) does not substantially change the patient’s subjective experience, and there may be multiple permutations of this situation: if the theory is in turn perceived as absent, and the dyad proceeds fusionally to infinity without limitations, the patient may perceive the analyst as an incestuous father/mother; or else she may repeat a traumatic experience of a child too much excluded if the analyst shows himself too much (or too often) to be only devoted to and interested in his own theory/wife/husband, and not the experience of the child/patient; while in other cases the theory perceived as being present in the field, even when not officially declared (Attilio Bertolucci would say, “… absence, the most acute presence…”), could perhaps function as a benign and reassuring, para-excitatory third, a guarantor against the risks of an inappropriate fusional intimacy; and so on.

Just as it is in real families, this is a complex problem of harmony and judgement in exercising a balanced triangularity.



One appropriate way to humanise and de-idealize certain excessive transferential features which can infiltrate the analyst’s theoretical makeup, and to redeem it from the fascination of ‘sacred’ distortions which might lead to theory-fetishism (when we inadvertently cross the line from equivalence into the territory of symbolic equation, to which we are not immune), may be a disenchantedly realistic consideration of certain frequent processes which play a formative role in the tendencies exhibited by our scientific milieu.

In fact, I believe that, in general, the history of theorizingin our field has often presented a fairly characteristic and recurrent sequence of configurations and developments which I would describe as follows:

  • A writer (or group of writers) focuses attention on a highly specific theoretical or clinical element; studies and describes it with particular care, and discovers (or, more often, highlights) new aspects and possible characteristic functions of it, putting it powerfully and in a privileged manner “in the spotlight”, so to speak, of their own and others’ attention.
  • If it is well formulated and presented in suitable venues with a broad impact and effective means of dissemination, this writer’s (or group’s) research will obtain recognition from colleagues, which will encourage them to present their observations in further papers devoted to the subject, and these will take on an increasingly consistent character and create a substantial field of interest around the topic.
  • The author, comforted and narcissistically confirmed (in a positive and necessary sense) by feedback which endorses her theoretical propositions, feels “author-isedto be not only authorial, but also authoritative”, and so reformulates her entire view of psychoanalysis, progressively centring it on the specific, highly privileged concept or area she has highlighted, until she creates a general theory which revolves around it. In a way, her identity thus undergoes a progressive transition from authorto Author.
  • A certain part of psychoanalysis is thus revised by that Author in the light of the importance of the specific aspect and the theoretical representations he has configured and emphasized, thereby contributing to the creation of a theory, a consequent technique, and finally a “School”.
  • When the Author’s (and/or School’s) assertive narcissism is sane and solid enough to allow his contribution to be configured, presented in various venues, published and approved, but not so extreme that he adopts professorial poses, messianic nuances, or pretensions to the exclusive, crucial pre-eminence of her contribution, there is still much scope for a constructive sharing and discussion of his ideas with colleagues. The Author will realistically be able to tolerate the existence of other conceptualisations than his own, and make use of a fruitful theoretical co-habitation with other thinkers in the full acknowledgement of their differences.

Fortunately, this is a fairly frequent development in analysts’ identities.

However, I am old enough to remember some plenary sessions at IPA Congresses in the eighties and nineties when eminent representatives from the major schools of thought on three continents were democratically gathered on the speakers’ platform in the correct IPA style, producing three performances all rigorously impermeable to each other. All the speakers “sang their own song” with no reference to the others, and left the stage with their theoretical-clinical fortifications strengthened, perfectly vaccinated against any possible contamination.

A scenario which, it must be said, has radically changed today.

But if the Author is strongly convinced that he has a master key which takes him further than all other scientific outlooks, and even cancels them out, then it is likely that the following group phenomenology will develop:

  • The part of the psychoanalytic community that has not personally experienced the first phase of the process with him, and still less its subjective evolution, and which instead feels that its own previously acquired conceptual structures are under threat, forcefully opposes the re-reading (and sometimes, it has to be said, the partial reduction…) of psychoanalysis to the aspects studied, developed, and endorsed in a privileged and sometimes exclusive manner by the new vision that is being proposed, and reacts with an all-out challenge. A dramatic example, intentionally taken from the past, might be the unfortunate presentation by Winnicott of “The Use of an Object” in New York on 12 November 1968 (F. Baudry, 2009), when in fact what he was putting forward was anything but reductive: a conceptual frame of reference outside the schemes of Ego Psychoanalysis with which the audience were familiar, and which provoked a rejection of such violence that it is widely held (S. Knafo, 2007) to have contributed to the heart attack he suffered in his hotel later that night.

In these cases, the reaction of the theoretical establishment, which may be represented biologically as an antibody (S. Bach, 2016), often takes the form of denying even the partial relevance of the interesting observations and discoveries being presented. These discoveries might actually complement the general current state of knowledge but, because of the author’s understandably ambitious investment in his intellectual creature, they can take on the character of a complete explanation, with the sometimes ill-concealed claim to be building a new theoretical “truth” which cancels and replaces all its predecessors. At this point, the integration of the potentially useful aspects of the new contributions becomes problematic because the conflict between theoretical groups is a matter of life and death for their historical and conceptual DNA, which is perceived as being threatened in its entirety. The new “school” then reacts by radicalising its own privileged focus in order to establish itself, and the rest of the community tends equally radically to disparage it in an inevitable genetic reaction.

A very long historical list could be made of such cultural confrontations, which are entirely equivalent to the struggle among animals to impose their own genetic code, or to the war between states aiming to establish their own political, economic and cultural supremacy; among the once highly contested ideas that were then little by little allowed through customs and integrated, I will only cite (again intentionally staying self-protectively in the past) projective identification, enactment, the field, the Self; but the list could go quite a bit further and include much more recent contributions which are still not possible to integrate convincingly or even digest, but which could be of at least partial interest to all analysts.

These sequences have been performed dozens of times in the history of psychoanalysis: theControversial Discussionsin London, the polemics between Greenson (1974) and Rosenfeld (1974) at the 1973 IPA Congress in Paris (Aguayo, 2013), or between Kernberg and Kohut (Robbins, 1980; Tonkin & Fine, 1985), Wallerstein (2005) and Green (2005), and so on; a rich and tranquil presentation of the entire complex picture of these sometimes turbulent developments can be found in Anticipare il futuro: la psicoanalisi oggi(Busato Barbaglio, Meterangelis, Pirrongelli, Solano, 2017).

Perhaps it wouldn’t be all that daring to wonder if the studies made by many authors or schools might have had a different reception and been gradually considered by the international psychoanalytic community if their observations had been presented in a less totalitarian and “determined” tone, with a greater awareness of their being limited and complementary and of how it would have been more appropriate to integrate them in a comprehensible way that made them compatible with the already existing psychoanalytic corpus, the fruit of many generations which still today demonstrates its substance and validity.

On the other hand, the last-ditch defence of the sacredness of the classical formulations as the sole guarantee of an original theoretical-conceptual purity can easily result in excommunication (“This is not psychoanalysis!” – which has fortunately reverberated less often around international conference halls in the past twenty years) or in a more serpentine disqualification as drift, which will not always turn out to be serene and appropriate.

It is in fact only after generations, when the threat of refutation to the collective theoretical DNA has been progressively re-proportioned and defused, that the observations, concepts, and tools presented with initial narcissistic over-investment by individual authors (“the great revolution” which reinvents a “new” psychoanalysis every time) can be rethought and finally utilised as partial tools for general use.

In the end, this happened quite quickly to the ideas of Winnicott and Bion (and here I feel obliged to recall that this process of integration also applies to the many historical merits of culturally “broadband” authors such as André Green, Joseph Sandler, Otto Kernberg, Horacio Etchegoyen and Thomas Ogden); I think it will also happen, or is happening, with some aspects of Self-Psychology, Intersubjectivism, Attachment Theory and, at the opposite pole, Lacanianism. It is in this general context that we find the residual controversy, which today seems to me quite passéwhen it takes its most radical “either… or…” form between “relationists” and “instinctualists”.

A curious mode of digestion and assimilation of new concepts by a theoretical area initially allergic to them is “integrative rereading”. As an example of how this can occur harmoniously, I would cite the integration of intersubjective elements in some post-Kleinian authors such as John Steiner (not to mention the works of Bion, which are packed with intersubjectivity without direct contact with North American Intersubjectivism, which came after his time).

An emblematic case of a group need for “digestion in après-coup” (and maybe also for autonomous reinvention…) is the reformulation of ideas previously well expressed by the concept of enactment(Jacobs, 1986) in its re-definition as Expérience Agie Partagée(Godfrind-Haber, Haber, 2002): a by no means isolated example of how to remove the tariffs on a theoretical formulation derived from another geographical and cultural area and initially regarded as incompatible in a theoretical environment with an entirely different background, but then included, though at the price of an apparent, partial appropriation of copyright.



In his very interesting article, On psychoanalytic figures as transference objects(2003), which I highly recommend, Laurence Spurling explores with admirable depth the complex nature of his own internal link with the figure of Winnicott, and succeeds in introspectively acknowledging some decisively transferential components which from time to time interfered with or integrated themselves in the process whereby he constructed his own individual psychoanalytic identity and his resulting theoretical configuration of psychic reality.

Spurling’s article does much more than expound his own personal transferential development, and gives a very good description of the general phenomenon of transference to authors in its various possible permutations, also providing a series of references to specific clinical cases of celebrated analysts who have been able to reflect self-analytically on this definitely widespread and sometimes barely conscious phenomenon.

Despite this, Spurling goes full circle, noting how reflection on transference to the authorends up nevertheless making the analyst’s personal analysis of his relationship with his own internal objects into a sort of virtuous circle capable of integrating different levels which would otherwise have been at risk of remaining split.

Taking a few steps back and observing this formative area from a little distance, we may calmly be able to acknowledge that the constitution of a personal identity in general, and also in a more specific way the constitution of an analyst’s “work Ego” and “work Self” (Schafer, 1983), proceed naturally from experiencing the encounter and interrelation with generative and transformative objects over the course of all our life stories.

Anyone who is daily immersed in this work knows that one of the fascinating elements of psychoanalysis consists in its almost unique capacity for “reopening early constitutive processes” thanks to regression and to the introjections at work, recreating conditions for access to the internal world which can sometimes come close in their profundity and efficacy to the natural conditions of infantile plasticity.

It is in this sphere that I feel it is appropriate to re-examine the transferential equivalents of every analyst to the authors who have influenced him or her. This means checking whether the relationship with these authors places them in a sane enough superego dimension (one that challenges helpfully and protectively in relation to dangers of a varied internal nature, and that acknowledges limits and therefore the risks of omnipotence) or an unhealthy one (with censorship and inhibition of exploratory and creative thinking outside the ipse dixit of the Masters); and similarly in relation to the Ego Ideal, whose absence or inadequacy would lead the subject to lack positive developmental tension, to the extent of psychic inertia (“You were not born to live as brutes”, Dante, InfernoXXVI, 119; while an excess of idealization can lead to substitutive identifications with a loss of authentic elements of one’s own Self and to disdain for everything in oneself that apparently does not coincide with the Ideal elevated into a sacred entity.

A bit reductively, I admit, I compare analysts’ attendance at international conferences to a child’s experience at the start of school life, where the language and basic assumptions of their parents are confronted for the first time with a broader, initially disconcerting and wrong-footing reality in which other ideas and accents are heard, and where one is steadily introduced into a new community which, as the months pass, will take on substance and a fundamental formative role.


This is, above all, the experience which new Candidates go through when they leave the analytic dyad and embark on their training, but it is also the experience which adult professional analysts have undergone, only in the past twenty years, when they confront each other in international groups to discuss clinical cases.

The extraordinary effect of these groups has been to reduce, without eliminating it entirely, the sacramental flavour of the transference to parental objects and influential authors, putting more adult and creative parts and functions of individual analysts to work, especially when the new working party (the “peer” group) is functioning well enough.

Concern and the activation of the group’s capacity for elaboration of the analytic events under examination, which is the real shared object being freely and collaboratively explored, have usually prevailed over last-ditch defence of “household truths”, allowing developments and openings which I sum up like this: we do not go home from an extra-Institutional working group the same as when we set out(and all the more so when the event is national, international, or intercontinental).

Incidentally, this experience was behind my pointing out the importance of the “Fourth Pillar” in the training process for Candidates (Bolognini, 2014).



At the start of these reflections, I noted possible similarities to the development of disciplines apparently remote from our own; and I mentioned history of art and the history of religions as two areas of interest – among the many possibilities – for comparison with our own formative processes and the profound use of our theories.

With regard to art history, I will simply point out how its methodologies for reconstructing the working lives of different artists does not stop them recognizing the outcomes and qualitative values of each individual artist: dozens of painters, for example, had the opportunity to attend “The Academy of the Incamminati” of the Carracci cousins and Guido Reni “workshop” in Bologna, but few of them went on to create works of the highest quality.

Alongside the indispensable factor of original personal talent, I think a valuable tool for understanding this is provided by the concept of introjective identification of partial elements (Grinberg, 1976): the process which makes nutrients reach their goal, allows them to be digested, their elements to be decomposed and assimilated, and finally their useful, life-giving constituents to be integrated into the body’s cells.

The quality of the integration then depends on various functional factors, among which is the crucial one of the relationship between the subject’s Ego and Self, which is therefore often put again into play between the inter- and intrapsychic (Bolognini, 2008).

It is not a problem of contents in the strict sense: as we all know, some psychoanalysts seem scientifically and technically “in harmony” while others are not, regardless of the fact that they may follow just one or several theories and prove to be more or less learned about them.

However, in undigested incorporations the gastric content is not dissolved (= resolved) into its constituents, and remains whole, occupying the internal space (it stays “in the stomach”) taking space and breath from the subject’s True Self and often replacing it by projective identifications with an incorporated object: that is, one that has been swallowed but not introjected. This occurrence leads the subject to become the otherinstead of acquiring useful substances/qualities from it. They are substitutive identificationsto the detriment of the Self.

Might this be similar to taking on a theory without metabolizing and subjectifying it? I think it might.

In such cases, we detect a very clear element of disharmony: the analyst in fact “becomes” his Master, and we see him losing contact with vast areas of himself.

By contrast, the bodily equivalent/precursor of imitation – a predominantly conscious and sometimes preconscious process (Gaddini, 1969) – may be the controlling of food by keeping it in the mouth without swallowing, which allows one to know its organoleptic characteristics, consistency, and shape, but without trusting it to go any further in than the mouth, after which control would no longer be possible.

Here too, I leave the reader to imagine the possible similarities with the superficial, half-baked, and fundamentally evasive relationship which one may “dishonestly” establish with a theory. Whereas Gaddini privileged the positive and developmental aspect of imitation in the infant (imitation in order to be), I am instead emphasizing a negative aspect: imitation in order not to be oneself.

I do not have space to take this general investigation any further, but I felt the need to set out its principal features.

In relation to the “sacred”, however, I want to mention its complex and markedly ambivalent etymology. In Latin, sacermeans both ‘holy, venerated, and inviolable’ (connected to an Indo-European root sac-associated with being attached, adhering, being fascinated) and ‘cursed, execrated’: a polarity which analysts know well as the double face of idealization/persecution, which is in fact so remote from a loving and realistic relationship with the object.

And in direct association with this dimension of the sacred in psychoanalysis, what comes straight into my mind is the gloomy, counter-reformist atmosphere of an IPA Board meeting a dozen years ago, in an dark, austere church in Utrecht, during which a debate was held about the possibility of recognizing in the IPA Bylaws the existence of three Training Models (of which two, the French and the Uruguayan, had existed for decades but been denied until that moment).

Under those austere vaulted ceilings – chosen, who can say with what conscious intention, for a historically dramatic scientific-philosophical-political dispute – I could see the power of the “sacred” at work in the mind of psychoanalysts who, in this respect, were just like other human beings.

Theory, in that case authentically rooted in the nuclear area of the Self (Wisdom, 1961) of admirable colleagues who were anything but “imitative”, nevertheless made itself mistress over any rational examination of reality and confrontation with otherness; in fact, the dispute was conducted in viscerally religious territory, both externally (never was a location more appropriate!) and internally, in an atmosphere of intense group regression.

Many further eventful Board meetings were needed before the three current Models could be recognized in 2007, albeit under sufferance and with objections right to the end.

With this recollection I would like to conclude this sequence of reflections on the theme, in which I find myself confirming what I said many years ago (Bolognini, 2002), which is that, broadly speaking, a successful enough child is:


  • one who – having grown up – leaves his or her parents and goes beyond them, while carrying and acknowledging much of them in him or herself; is able to be in dialogue with them; can be detached from them; has matured thanks to real, deep introjections; and is capable of relationships and exchanges in separateness.


  • S/he is not the devotee, the acolyte, the replica, the uniformed toy soldier, the altar boy.


  • At the opposite pole, that of the iconoclast, I think that the theoretical Super-Ego in our relationship with our patients is merely a “Jiminy Cricket” to be flattened with a hammer: it is a “third” to be kept in play with an internal dialogue which, over the years, becomes steadily more impartial as we acquire effective experience and skill.


  • A good natural evolution could consist in developing a personal dialogue with Authors, one that is both grateful and critical, and is ready to accept partial introjections that are worth taking in: but always in conditions of separateness, non-confusion, grateful to the internal objects without any persecutory intimidation on their part.






Il lavoro esplora la complessità delle relazioni intrapsichiche degli analisti con le loro teorie di elezione, e la declinazione altrettanto complessa di queste nell’ambito più generale della comunità e della letteratura psicoanalitiche, con le ricorrenti vicissitudini storiche che hanno accompagnato la formazione di gruppi, di scuole e di orientamenti tecnico-concettuali, spesso conflittuali tra loro, attraverso i decenni. In particolare viene segnalata l’importanza dei movimenti transferali profondi verso gli Autori che con le loro concettualizzazioni ispirano ogni analista, aldilà delle sole scelte «oggettive» (o presunte tali) di tipo scientifico. L’integrazione più o meno armonica degli «oggetti interni teorici» con l’Io di Lavoro e con il Sé di Lavoro individuali configura un compito evolutivo essenziale, che riguarda la crescita personale e il percorso formativo degli analisti contemporanei.

PAROLE CHIAVE: Identificazioni introiettive parziali, identificazioni sostitutive, imitazione, transfert verso gli autori, transfert verso le teorie.



This paper explores the complex intrapsychic relations of psychoanalysts with their private selected theories, and the equally complex expressions and variations of these theories in the psychoanalytic community and literature. They accompanied the frequently conflictual formation of groups, schools and technical-conceptual orientations, for decades. More specifically, the paper highlights the deep dynamics of “transference to the theories and/or to the authors” whose conceptualisations inspire each analyst well beyond their conscious, “objective” (or supposedly so) scientific choices. The more or less harmonious integration of the “theoretical internal objects” with the individual Work-Ego and Work-Self, constitutes an essential evolutionary task regarding the personal growth and formation of the contemporary psychoanalysts.


KEY WORDS: Imitation, partial introjective identification, substitutive identification, transference to authors, transference to theories.


ENCHANTEMENTS ET DÉSENCHANTEMENTS DANS LA FORMATION ET L’UTILISATION DES THÉORIES PSYCHANALYTIQUES SUR LA RÉALITÉ PSYCHIQUE.Le travail explore la complexité des relations intra-psychiques des analystes avec leurs théories d’élection, et la variation tout aussi complexe de ces-ci dans le milieu plus large de la communauté et la littérature psychanalytique, avec des événements historiques récurrents qui ont accompagné la formation de groupes, d’écoles et de directrices techniques et conceptuelles, souvent en conflit entre eux, au cours des décennies. En particulier, est mise en évidence l’importance des mouvements de transfert profonds envers les Auteurs, qui inspirent chaque analyste avec leurs conceptualisations, au-delà des choix exclusivement «objectifs» (ou présumés) de nature scientifique. L’intégration plus ou moins harmonieuse des «objets internes théoriques», avec le Moi de travail et le Soi de travail individuels, configure une tâche évolutive essentielle, qui concerne le développement personnel et la formation des analystes contemporains.

MOTS CLÉS: Identifications introjectives partielles, identifications substitutives, imitation, transfert vers les auteurs, transfert vers les théories.

ENCANTOS Y DESENCANTOS EN LA FORMACIÓN Y EN EL USO DE TEORÍAS PSICOANALÍTICAS SOBRE LA REALIDAD PSÍQUICA. Este trabajo explora la complejidad de las relaciones intrapsíquicas del psicoanalista con sus teorías de elección y la declinación también compleja de éstas en el ámbito más general de la comunidad y de la literatura psicoanalítica, con las recurrentes vicisitudes históricas que, durante décadas, han acompañado la formación de grupos, de escuelas y de orientaciones técnico- conceptuales, a menudo en conflicto entre ellos. En particular se señala la importancia de los movimientos transferenciales profundos hacia Autores que con sus conceptualizaciones inspiran cada analista, más allá de la elección «objetiva» (o presumiblemente tal) de tipo científico. La integración más o menos armónica de los «objetos internos teóricos» con el Yo de Trabajo y con el Sé de Trabajo individuales se configura como una tarea evolutiva esencial que tiene que ver con el desarrollo personal y el itinerario formativo de los analistas contemporáneos.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Identificación introyectiva parcial, identificación substitutiva, imitación, transferencia hacia los autores, transferencia hacia las teorías.

VERZAUBERUNG UND ENTZAUBERUNG IN DER ENTWICKLUNG UND IM GEBRAUCH DER PSYCHOANALYTISCHEN THEORIEN ÜBER DIE PSYCHISCHE REALITÄT. Die Arbeit untersucht die Komplexität der intrapsychischen Beziehungen der Analytiker mit den von ihnen gewählten Theorien, und deren ebenso komplexe Anpassung und Veränderung im allgemeineren Feld der psychoanalytischen Gemeinschaft und Literatur, mit den wiederkehrenden historischen Wechselfällen, welche die Begründung von oft untereinander im Streit liegenden Gruppen, Schulen und technisch-konzeptuellen Orientierungen über die Jahrzehnte hinweg begleiteten. Es wird insbesondere auf die Bedeutung der tiefgehenden Übertragungsbewegungen auf die Autoren verwiesen, die mit ihren Konzeptualisierungen jeden Analytiker inspirieren, unabhängig von seiner eigenen «objektiven» (oder dafür gehaltenen) Wahl des wissenschaftlichen Modells. Die mehr oder weniger harmonische Integration der «theoretischen inneren Objekte» in das Ich der Arbeit und das Selbst der Arbeit stellt eine wesentliche Aufgabe der Entwicklung dar, die das persönliche Wachstum und die Ausbildung der heutigen Analytiker betrifft.

SCHLÜSSELWÖRTER: Imitation, introjektive Teilidentifizierungen, substituierende Identifizierungen, Übertragung auf die Autoren, Übertragung auf die Theorien.


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