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The analytic identity of the analyst and its paradoxes Lucio Russo


Given the task of expressing my opinion about the analyst’s analytic identity, I can do no better than point out two paradoxes which characterise it. I prefer the expression ‘analytic identity’ to the commonly used ‘identity of the analyst’, because the former, unlike the second, is able – by means of an abstract concept – to highlight particular psychic functions that do not refer to the personal psychology of the analyst, which is best kept in brackets in analytic work. By using the expression the ‘analytic identity of the analyst’ I want to highlight the functions of the psyche that contradict the logical evidence of common sense.


In my opinion, a first paradox is the illusion that the psychoanalyst is always a psychoanalyst, recognised by himself, by his analysands, by his colleagues in his psychoanalytic institution, and by the world at large. This illusion is necessary for surviving both the analysands’ negative transferential attacks, and their extreme and scarcely bearable idealisations. The paradox lies in the fact that the illusion of being a psychoanalyst is accompanied by the disillusionment which the psychoanalyst often experiences. If the heirs of Freud still want access to psychoanalysis in its original state and the same time do not want to stop transforming it, they have to reinvent it day after day in their consulting rooms. I am referring to a constant oscillation between illusion and disillusion, theoretical and clinical, which happens over the course of the analytic experience.


Indeed, during his own daily experience, the psychoanalyst inevitably encounters discords and crises within the unconscious paradigm by which he recognises himself as a psychoanalyst.


Many years ago, an old analyst told me in confidence about a strange experience he had sometimes had: in analysis he felt like a confessor who went on hearing confession even in those moments when he felt he had no faith. With this metaphor, he meant to underline the fact that the psychoanalyst has no permanent analytic identity to be relied on both inside and outside the walls of analysis. In my opinion, this aspect of the analytic identity is founded on the nature of the psyche, which is plastic; and this plasticity is caused by the quantitative factor of the drives, the force of which continually threatens to overthrow the equilibrium of the identity achieved by the analyst’s psyche.


This is what Freud has to say about the illusion of the analyst’s identity: “It almost looks as if analysis were the third of those ‘impossible’ professions in which one can be sure beforehand of achieving unsatisfying results. The other two, which have been known much longer, are education and government” (Freud, 1937, 248).


Freud stresses that the analyst’s training can never be definitive. It is rather an ongoing search, never to be concluded, although it remains possible because it derives from a necessary illusion. The future of an illusion is an indispensable prospect for continuing to analyse.


Binswanger (1956, 40) tells us the reasons given by Freud for the impossibility of psychoanalysis as a profession. He says Freud was gripped by “’dark thoughts’, not so much about the foundation and duration of his ‘kingdom’, but […] about the widening and deepening of therapy’s efficacy and the future of the work to which he had dedicated his life.”[2]


Freud often, Binswanger goes on, “consoles himself for the unsatisfactory quantity – as he sees it – of the therapeutic successes achieved by psychoanalysis,” by believing that psychoanalysis nevertheless helps analysts to understand the reasons why analysability has its limits (ibid., 46). In Binswanger’s Memories, Freud is convinced “of having introduced something that will fundamentally concern humankind,” but is also nagged by dissatisfaction when he stops to think about the deepening and broadening of what he has written. Freud is often seized by doubts about the future of our discipline because “there is nothing for which the organisation of man is has less aptitude as ψψA” (ibid. – translated by the translator of this article).


So, the analytic identity of the psychoanalyst shows itself to be a discontinuous and incomplete phenomenon. Discontinuity and incompleteness guarantee that analytic work has a specific character distinct from any pedagogic, therapeutic, or cognitive function. The analyst’s feeling that, at every moment of his analytic work and his social life, he has an analytic identity just because he has been analysed and is a member of a prestigious Psychoanalytic Society, is an illusion. The psychoanalyst’s illusion provokes a confusion between personal identity and analytic identity.


The awareness of the split between the person of the analyst and his oscillating, never completed analytic identity, led Freud to have serious doubts about the future of psychoanalysis and its transmission. Note these words of Freud’s in a letter of 25 November 1928 to Pastor Pfister: “I would like to hand [psychoanalysis] over to a profession which does not yet exist, a profession of lay curers of souls who need not be doctors and should not be priests” (1963, 126).


With this passage, which ends the letter to Pastor Pfister, Freud gives an important indication about his method: “the sure conviction of the existence of the unconscious.” This methodological instruction handed over to analysts is opposed to the formation of a homogeneous, compact analytic identity governed by an absolutist Ego.




A second paradox concerns particular aspects of the transference and countertransference, the psychoanalyst’s “cross and delight”. With the aim of setting up an analytic relationship with the analysand, the analyst alternates between being himself and being a stranger to himself.


De M’Uzan calls this situation with regard to the analytic identity a “paradoxical countertransference system” and describes analytic experiences in which the analyst perceives in himself a psychic activity foreign to his habitual way of thinking and of feeling affects. According to de M’Uzan, extraneous and unexpected representations, phrases, formulae and images rise up abruptly in the analyst’s psyche. In these situations, the analyst seems to escape from himself, from his own identity, and experiences a momentary alienation, even depersonalisation. Nothing is any longer comprehensible in the alienated psyche of the analyst (de M’Uzan, 1977, 164-181).


This double space, “the paradoxical system”, does not possess the limits of a genuine interiority, and has no internal contents that could be attributed to a determined subjectivity, that of the analyst. While listening to the patient with “free-floating attention”, the analyst’s psyche can feel itself inhabited by psychic activities and objects that are not its usual ones. The “paradoxical situation” in which the analyst finds himself depends on the uncertain boundaries which the analytic relationship imposes with some patients. De M’Uzan refers to psychotic and psychosomatic patients, but also to hyper-neurotic patients who at certain moments propose to eliminate the limits of their own internal world.


This analytic situation causes the analyst to withdraw from his own habitual individuality which is inhabited by determined passions and by his own history, and causes him to function in ways that belong in the category of fantasy rather than according to a logical activity of thought.


De M’Uzan calls this original psychic activity “paradoxical thought” and it is based on the splitting of the analyst’s Ego in those moments when the Ego and thought are open to the paradox.


The analyst listens to and analyses regressions to primitive forms of psychic life, including extreme, formless and inanimate unconscious experiences. Fédida writes, “Can one be a psychoanalyst without making use of this resource: that is to say, the ability to animate the inanimate? A quasi-mystical experience is essential, in the sense that when we are listening to someone we must to some degree become mad in order to understand them. If you listen, staying simply in the sphere of anecdotal points of reference, you are not will not gain access to the unconscious dimension. Becoming mad is to be understood in the sense that if the analyst is not mad at the moment he makes an interpretation, this interpretation will be worthless” (Fédida, 2007, 91 – translated by the translator of this article).


The mad and split psychic disposition allows the analyst at the moment of the interpretation to feel he is outside his own personal, known and recognised identity. Analysts are tempted to forget the necessary splitting, indispensable in order “to be dislocated from the idea of a totalising Ego,” which prevents the experiencing and attaining of the unconscious. Splitting suspends familiarity, personalisation, and the synthesising, absolutist function of the theoretical Ego. Furthermore, it enables the analyst to keep “the liveliness of infantile visions of the sexual” in his thinking and listening, which is the royal road for entering into contact with primitive and unformed being.


I want to try and illustrate the analyst’s splitting between habitual logic and fantastical madness by means of the metaphor of the leap which I used many years ago (Russo, 1996, 54). I wrote then that the foundations of psychoanalysis are found in the differential gap between a terminology belonging to the classical language of science: one foot resting on the ground of the twentieth-century scientific tradition, the other – that of the leaper – stretched out to jump beyond firm ground and invent psychoanalysis. And so the psychoanalyst follows the method invented by Freud for analytic work: with one foot he stands on the familiar ground of his own personal identity, while the other – that of the leaper – is stretched out to create his own analytic identity, leaping over the limits of the known and heading towards the unknown.


My clinical experience prompts me to claim that the paradox I am describing takes shape particularly in the countertransference. The countertransference arises as an undesired and disturbing stranger in both psychoanalytic theory and practice, but finds it difficult to stay in the unconscious position of extraneousness.


The personal and familiarising use of the countertransference hinders analysts’ ability to migrate elsewhere, to wherever they might want to go in thought and imagination. The term “migrate” can be found in Freud’s 1924 letter to Eitingon about the need for an analytic community to include all the societies and thus to have the right and duty to migrate, not to have fixed abodes. I use the expression “migrate from fixed abodes” in the metaphorical sense of opening up psychic work, thought and affects to the foreign, to elsewhere.


The familiarising use of the countertransference is the effect of a regression in psychoanalytic thought. The shift of emphasis onto interpersonal psychology and onto the analyst’s conscious emotional responses has interrupted the investigation of the fertile relationship between the analyst’s psyche and the metapsychological “witch”, who supports the analytic ability to “imagine”, “theorise”, and “speculate”. The countertransference, metapsychology’s orphan child, fosters a dangerous slippage of treatment towards “countertransferential behaviours more mimetic than analytic in nature” (Fédida, 1992, 221-222).


As Freud says in his study of Jensen’s Gradiva, the good use of the countertransference by the analyst consists in the ability to perceive and to accommodate within himself the foreign, the representative of the absent and of the unconscious. Freud writes, “The doctor has been a stranger, and must endeavour to become a stranger once more after the cure” (Freud, 1906, 90) in order to underline the necessity for the analyst to make the countertransference migrate elsewhere, away from the known and the familiar.




I would like to add to these first reflections on the analytic identity of the analyst something important about the negative, in particular negative hallucination.


In their analytic work, psychoanalysts cannot help making use of the negative in order to embody sensations, censored and repressed desires, and affects in their words.


In my long, impassioned and complicated analyses, I understood that the negative is fundamental to launching the psychic and, in parallel, the birth of the analytic identity. Green writes, “psychoanalysis finds the negative at the very roots of its existence because its theory rests on an excess of positivity. This is due to drive functioning which the subject can only come to terms with by negativising it or through the activity of defence mechanisms by making drive activity compatible with the demands of cultural life, itself the result of a negation of natural life” (1993, 283, my italics).


The work of the negative, at the centre of which I locate the figure of the analyst’s analytic identity, is psychic work comparable to dream-work.


The analyst becomes capable of having analytic experience when he is capable of representing the negative of absence, that feeling of lack which generates desire and the hallucinatory.


The work of the negative is silently operating in the analytic identity, and tends to distance the analyst from the unmodifiable certainties of consciousness and reality. The work of the negative practises and utilises absence in order to create space for dream in the analyst’s psyche. The dream is situated in the double scene of the experience of the familiar and the foreign; a split space where “known and unknown” co-exist in permanent contradiction.


The work of the negative therefore extends to the setting up of the analyst’s identity and the launching of free associations, free-floating listening, suspension of judgement and censorship. The work of the negative negativises common sense, the known and the familiar, the person of the analyst and of the patient, the absoluteness of the present. Analytic identity generates words which de-signify the semantic fixtures of ordinary language; it makes use of metaphor as does poetic language and maintains the power of the word to pick up scraps of meaning, noises from the body and from infantile sexuality.


The setting-up of analytic identity is, for this reason, accompanied by the disturbing feeling of the familiarly strange.


This feeling is experienced if the negative hallucination, which dis-establishes persons and de-signifies semantic fixtures, becomes involved in embodying the analytic identity.


I take my cue from what Fédida has written about this: “It is undoubtedly necessary that, as soon as I lie on the couch, I make that person behind me disappear. The term ‘negative’ is extremely important here, since this is what dis-establishes any relationship, de-instituting any person. The negative consists of a space in temporality in which I will never fully know the person I am addressing” (Fédida, 2007, 125; translated by the translator of this article).


The disturbing foreignness touches on the experience of bewilderment and generates a mental state of suspense which, to me, seems similar to the ability which the Romantic poet Keats (1987) indicates in a letter of December 1817 to his brothers George and Tom with the term “negative capability”. In this letter Keats describes the poet’s ability to transcend the facts of visible, known reality and to remain in doubt and uncertainty without rushing to clear up the mystery. The “negative capability” of un-knowing the known[3] and being able to stay in that state is a fundamental element of the analytic identity, which Freud himself had acknowledged in a letter sent to Lou Salomé on 13 December 1917.


Bion would later translate “negative capability” into the term “patience”, which strongly evokes the state of suspense/waiting. “Any attempt to cling to what he knows must be resisted for the sake of achieving a state of mind analogous to the paranoid–schizoid position. For this state I have coined the term ‘patience’” (1970, 124).


Likewise, Lacan suggests that one of the aims of a training analysis should be the future analyst’s acquisition of the ability to “touch and know the field and level of experience of absolute bewilderment, at which level anxiety is already a protection” (Lacan, 1966).




When the analyst encounters the loss of his analytic identity, which he experiences as the impossibility of representation and transformation, he feels impotent and desperate, and is at risk of believing that he has reached the absolute limit of “analysability”. He is unable to recognise that this limit is the effect of a listening tied to his own theories and methods, and to everything that he finds familiar.[4]


In these situations the analytic identity and function are wiped out.


In order to prevent the analyst making reactive, concrete responses and entirely losing his paradoxical position of being divided between identification with the foreign other and the preservation of his own familiar being, it is necessary to create a device different from transference and countertransference.


The device I am trying to represent consists of two elements: the analytic relationship and self-analysis.


The model of analytic relationship to which I am referring is a space of union between the unconscious of the analysand and that of the analyst who is open to endless processes in which new forms of identity are constructed.


My starting point is the idea that in the analytic relationship the semantic dimension of language is suspended, together with the personal identity of the two protagonists, so as to enable the body and the primitive sensations to enter the spoken word and the listening.


Free associations and free-floating listening open up the two protagonists’ words and from time to time generate new and provisional identities.


In the open space created by the suspension of sense, the two subjects of analysis launch and project into the field an indeterminate series of pre-verbal signs (sonic and visual images, vocal intonations, etc.), and indeterminate, disconnected significations and affective states, which the analyst’s imagination puts together and combines, creating new forms of identity.


The second element is the device of self-analysis.


Self-analysis creates a third element between the psychic realities of the two protagonists and helps the analyst nevertheless to preserve a function as interpreter, albeit a silent one, of the signs being sent by the regressed patient. These signs can be of various types: concrete requests, complaints, outbursts of anger, actions, stubborn silences, extreme hatred, and absolute love.


There are three kinds of reason why it is necessary to exercise self-analysis in these states of the psyche. The first concerns the analyst’s negative capability for using his own imagination to conceive the analysand’s sensations and unconscious drive-impulses which, when blocked, invade the analytic relationship and prevent the production of dreams, free associations, free-floating listening, and interpretations. The second reason refers to the self-analytic function of differentiating the analysand’s psyche from the analyst’s, and of inserting each into the events of their respective histories. The third reason concerns the attempt of self-analytic work to seek the “potentialities for symbolisation” which have been blocked and which constitute a fundamental characteristic of identities.


In Analysis Terminable and Interminable (1937), Freud conveys to analysts, by means of reflections which derive from an integrated and depressive thought about the limits of what it is possible to analyse, the need for the analyst to put at the centre of the treatment his self-analytical investigation of what remains un-analysed in him.


The self-analytic inclusion of one’s own psychic experience of “what remains un-analysed”, residues from the training analysis, allow the analyst to keep open and alive his desire to investigate his own unconscious and to discover new aspects of his own identity.


I prefer to speak of “what remains un-analysed”, rather than of unanalysable parts, in order to draw attention to the potential present in the internal world of the analyst, who can analyse himself in cases where the conditions I previously mentioned arise. “What remains un-analysed” constitutes a reserve identity containing parts of the identity as shadows which have not completely exhausted the possibility of being represented.


As an analysis unfolds, the analyst’s Ego is subjected to the constant pressure of the transference, a pressure which redraws the internal and external boundaries of his own identity. The analyst’s analysing function cannot be detached from his self-analysing function, which means redesigning the internal structure of his own Ego and a transformation of the residues of his own identity into new forms of identity. The ability to analyse oneself and the desire to analyse therefore derive from a dialectical movement of his Ego to “preserve-overcome” the identity previously acquired in his own personal analysis.


In critical situations of blockage where the psychoanalyst is asked to make up for the absence of his own analyst by self-analytic work carried out on his own or with a supervisor, countertransference dreams are very useful. These are dreamed by an extraneous and impersonal subject formed from the meeting between the unconscious of the analysand and that of the analyst.


As a visual illustration of the nature of countertransference dreams in self-analysis I suggest the image of a triangle. I place the dream being dreamed at the apex. The apex is joined from one side by the vertex from the analyst’s Ego recounting the dream to himself, and from the other side by the analyst’s Ego listening to the dream being recounted to himself.


These two vertices of the self-analytic triangle are connected by a third side which portrays the double: the relationship between the Ego which recounts the countertransference dream and the Ego which listens to it in a psychic state of waiting for the stranger and for the unknown.




According to the Freudian hypotheses of the “extended psyche” (Freud, 1938), we can say that the analyst is never simply an analyst with an identity already formed, but always in a state of formation.


In these analytic situations, the analyst needs to be in a position to experience a psychic split in his relationship with the analysand, one which can recall the doubling of the actor’s Ego described by Diderot in The Paradox of the Actor. In order to gain access to what is surprising, outside of consciousness, the analyst must be simultaneously himself and the other in his analytic work. The mental set-up that maintains a constant state of splitting, enables the analyst to feel outside his known and acknowledged identity, the familiar and the known.


In this connection, Fédida writes that analysts are tempted to forget the role of splitting in analytic work; if the analyst is not sensitive to splitting, “he will never experience the attainment of the unconscious.” He needs to understand splitting “as being driven out of one’s own identity” in order to suspend “the familiarity of thought” and the synthesising and absolutist function of the judging and theoretical Ego. Splitting is necessary for ensuring that thought and speech have “the vivacity of infantile visions of the sexual,” which is the royal road for entering into contact with primitive and unformed being.


In this connection I want to recall the legacy which Freud left to future psychoanalysts on the subject of identity in Analysis Terminable and Interminable, the great text written at the end of his life. Its message is clear and decisive: “a firm conviction of the existence of the unconscious” (1937, 248), to which the future analyst must be led in his training analysis, is never acquired definitively and is not sufficient to guarantee that he is always a psychoanalyst, come what may. Freud attributes this impossibility to the “very exacting demands” placed on analytic work (ibid.).


These demands recur in clinical experiences which expose the analyst and his analytic identity to the many drive-impulses freed from the censorship of rational thought and the conscious Ego. The excessive modification to which the analyst’s Ego is subjected by the drives at those times when he is functioning analytically, compels him to set up resistances to the infantile unconscious of the drives and to regress into his position as a person known and acknowledged by his own consciousness. In this regressed position, the analyst stops being an analyst.


These are the “dangers of analysis,” writes Freud, “though they threaten, not the passive but the active partner in the analytic situation; and we ought not to neglect to meet them. There can be no doubt how this is to be done. Every analyst should periodically—at intervals of five years or so—submit himself to analysis once more, without feeling ashamed of taking this step” (ibid., 249).


Eighty years after this was written, and having read and re-read it over many years of analytic work, I have reached the conclusion that Freud’s advice of a periodically renewed analysis of the analyst every five years should be broadened and modified, while preserving the same purpose.


At critical points in their work, psychoanalysts become aware that in their relationship with a specific analysand, or with themselves, they have stopped believing in the unconscious and have lost their analytic identity.


So, to be an analysed psychoanalyst means knowing that the analytic identity is not acquired once and for all. There is a time in every analysis when the analyst needs to analyse and self-analyse the crisis which has generated the disappearance of his analytic identity and his analysing function. “To have been analysed” is a necessary condition for the analyst to have an analytic identity, but it is not a sufficient one. Complex vicissitudes in the relationship with our analysands sometimes induce psychoanalysts not to stay analysed at every moment of analytic work. There are critical moments in which a violent drive-transference and a countertransference of anxiety induce the analyst to lose his relationship with his own unconscious and the analysand’s. As Freud writes, we must not fail to “assure the analyst that he has our sincere sympathy in the very exacting demands he has to fulfil in carrying out his activities” (ibid., 248).


abstracts and key words

L’autore affronta il tema dell’identità analitica dell’analista e lo esplora attraverso alcuni paradossi per mettere in evidenza che il lavoro analitico, che costituisce l’identità analitica, si fonda sulla rottura del senso comune e della logica, per rimanere nell’ordine del fantasma. Si affronta il tema identitario a partire dalla convinzione che essere sempre psicoanalista è una illusione. Illusione necessaria accompagnata da costante disillusione. Citando, accanto a Freud, Binswanger, Fédida, De M’Uzan, Green si esplora l’area del transfert-controtransfert e del negativo come ambiti specifici. I fondamenti della psicoanalisi si trovano nello scarto tra i termini del linguaggio classico della scienza del ‘900 e l’innovazione della parola psicoanalitica, pertanto l’identità analitica dello psicoanalista non è stabile né permanente, nel testo viene descritta con la metafora del saltatore. Il salto può essere affrontato con un dispositivo che si costruisce come intreccio tra relazione analitica e autoanalisi dell’analista, lavoro che apre a processi interminabili di nuove forme di identità.

Parole chiave: Identità analitica, estraneo – familiare, illusione, negativo, persona dell’analista, scissione.

The Analyst’s Analytic Identity and Its Paradoxes. The author addresses the topic of the analyst’s analytic identity and explores it through some paradoxes to highlight the fact that analytic work, which constitutes the analytic identity, is based on a rupture of common sense and logic, in order to dwell in the realm of the fantastical. The theme of identity is addressed, starting from the conviction that always being a psychoanalyst is an illusion – a necessary illusion accompanied by constant disillusionment. Citing, along with Freud, Binswanger, Fédida, de M’Uzan, and Green, the transference-countertransference and the area of the negative are explored as specific dimensions. The foundations of psychoanalysis can be located in the disparity between the classical scientific language of the twentieth century and the innovation of the psychoanalytic word; therefore, the psychoanalyst’s analytic identity is not stable or permanent, and in this paper, it is described with the metaphor of a jumping person. The jump can be approached within a framework that is constructed as an interweaving between the analytic relationship and the analyst’s self-analysis – a task that opens up endless processes of new forms of identity.

Keywords: Analytic identity, extraneous-familiar, illusion, negative, person of the analyst, split.

L’identité analytique de l’analyste et ses paradoxes. L’auteur aborde la question de l’identité analytique de l’analyste et l’explore à travers des paradoxes pour mettre en évidence que le travail analytique, qui constitue l’identité analytique, est fondé sur la rupture du sens commun et de la logique, pour rester dans l’ordre du fantasme. Il aborde la question de l’identité à partir de la conviction qu’être tout le temps un analyste est une illusion. Illusion nécessaire, accompagnée d’une constante désillusion. En citant Freud, Binswanger, Fédida, De M’Uzan, Green, on explore le champ du transfert-contretransfert et du négatif en tant que domaines spécifiques. Les fondements de la psychanalyse se trouvent dans l’écart entre les termes de la langue classique de la science du ‘900 et l’innovation de la parole psychanalytique. Donc, l’identité analytique du psychanalyste n’est pas stable ou permanente. Dans le texte elle est décrite avec la métaphore du sauteur. Le saut peut être abordé à travers un dispositif qui est construit comme entrecroisement de relation analytique et de auto-analyse de l’analyste. Ce travail favorise des processus interminables de nouvelles formes d’identité.

Mots-clés: Identité analytique, étrange-familier, illusion, négatif, personne de l’analyste, clivage.

La identidad analítica del analista y sus paradojas. El autor enfrenta el tema de la identidad analítica del analista y lo explora a través de algunas paradojas para subrayar que el trabaja analítico, que constituye la identidad analítica, se funda en la ruptura del sentido común y de la lógica, para permanecer en el orden del fantasma. Se aborda el tema identitario a partir de la convicción de que ser siempre psicoanalista es una ilusión. Ilusión necesaria acompañada por una constante desilución. Junto a Freud, cita a Binswanger, Fédida, De M’Uzan y Green para explorar el área del transfert-controtransfert y de lo negativo como ámbitos específicos. Los fundamentos del psicoanálisis se encuentran en la brecha entre los términos del lenguaje clásico de la ciencia del siglo XX y la innovación de la palabra psicoanalítica; por lo tanto, la identidad analítica del psicoanalista no es ni estable ni permanente: en el texto se describe con la metáfora del saltador. El salto puede enfrentarse con un dispositivo que se construye como trama entre relación analítica y autoanálisis del analista, trabajo que abre a procesos interminables de nuevas formas de identidad.

Palabras clave: Extraño-familiar, escisión, identidad analítica, ilusión, negativo, persona del analista.

DIE ANALYTISCHE IDENTITÄT DES ANALYTIKERS UND IHRE PARADOXIEN. Der Autor befasst sich mit dem Thema der analytischen Identität des Analytikers und untersucht sie durch einige Paradoxien, um aufzuzeigen, dass die analytische Arbeit, die die analytische Identität bildet, auf dem Abbau des gesunden Menschenverstandes und der Logik gegründet ist, um in der phantasmatischen Ordnung zu bleiben. Man befasst sich mit der Frage der Identität auf der Grundlage der Überzeugung, dass die Vorstellung, immer Psychoanalytiker zu sein, eine Illusion ist. Solch eine Illusion ist notwendig und wird von ständiger Enttäuschung begleitet. Neben Freud werden Binswanger, Fédida, De M’Uzan, Green erwähnt und es wird der Bereich der Übertragung-Gegenübertragung und des Negativen als spezifischer Bereich erforscht. Die Grundlagen der Psychoanalyse sind im Zwischenraum zwischen den Begriffen der klassischen Sprache der Wissenschaft des 19.jahrhunderts einerseits und der Innovation des psychoanalytischen Wortes andererseits zu finden, so dass die analytische Identität des Psychoanalytikers nicht stabil oder dauerhaft ist. Sie wird in dem Text mit der Metapher des Jumpers dargestellt. Der Bogen kann sich als Verschränkung zwischen analytischer Beziehung und Selbstanalyse des Analytikers aufspannen, und das ist eine Arbeit, die einen endlosen Prozess neuer Identitätsformen eröffnet.

Schlüsselwörter: Analytische Identität, Fremd – Familie, Illusion, Negatives, Person des Analytikers, Spaltung.


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Russo L. (1996). L’indifferenza dell’anima. Rome, Borla.




1 I have discussed the topics considered in this article with Dr. Patrizia Cupelloni, whom I thank for her contribution.

2 In his memoirs, Binswanger, places Freud’s thoughts in inverted commas, as in this case.

3 I coined the expression “un-knowing the known” in the article “Riflessioni intorno ad un’esperienza di formazione» published in the Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 1995.

4 Since the Congress of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society in Taormina in 1980, many Italian analysts have started to pay more attention to the analytic relationship. Towards the end of the nineteen-seventies an important transformation took place in theory, concerning the greater weight given to those states of mind in analysts which have nothing to do with the logic of the transference-countertransference exchange. This has generated inside information which focuses on particular psychic states of the analysand, and also on extraordinary coincidences. The development of this particular observational sensitivity, which the analyst addresses to himself, has provided knowledge of previously contested unconscious levels in the analytic relationship.






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