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Vitality as a Theoretical and Technical Parameter in Psychoanalysis

Abstract

Terms such as vitality and authenticity are difficult to define. Moreover, they cannot be considered true psychoanalytic concepts. If, however, as is happening, psychoanalysis tries to theorize in a more fine-grained manner the non-specific aspects of treatment, such as those related to the person of the analyst, then it becomes inevitable to refer to them. The thesis of the article is that vitality should emerge from its vagueness and be transformed into a precise psychoanalytic concept. This can be done if we discuss it in light of Bion’s concept of negative capability and the post-Bionian theory of the analytic field. Every time the analyst rediscovers to his surprise the dreamlike dimension of the session, he becomes vital gain and reinvests the patient, the analysis and the psychoanalytic method.Then he realizes that he is always a character in the stories of the analysis and has the chance to try to guess what happens by relying on his intensified bodily or emotional reaction.

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Authenticity and Analytic Style

Abstract

The question that has prompted this article could be formulated as follows: what are the vicissitudes of the analyst’s subjectivity in the bi-personal models and, more specifically, in the Bion field model? Using a clinical vignette, the author shows his own “toy box” mainly the way he uses reverie and the interplay between plot and characters in the session.

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The Art of Fielding

Abstract

Bion created different theoretical tools to observe emotional transformations during a therapeutic session. In the relational field, these tools are particularly useful to observe how emotions create representations as steps in the transformation of further emotional experiences. Describing the complex unfolding of this process, Bion used the word “truth” to highlight the tension towards the unknown, the absolute unachievable named “O”.

The word ‘authenticity’ is close to the theoretical concept of ‘truth’, but it better describes and includes something pertaining to relational experience. Authenticity especially appears as a broader concept, which includes something about style and the ability to reach a sense of contentment and sharing together.

The author explores as authenticity goes through the form, not just the content, of language; a form capable of arousing surprise, wonder and transformation of the gaze. The optimal regulation of the intensity of feeling and the subjective quality of the words allow the latter to cross the relational field and to be received by the other subject. The goal for therapy that strives to reach the patient and allow a creative, subjective and full relational experience can be described (or summarized) with the word ‘authenticity’.

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Bionian and Post-Bionian Transformations

Abstract

This article presents a summary of the theses advanced in Bion’s Transformations and describes their application by the analyst in the session. It then discusses the development of post-Bionian transformations in dreaming and play. Clinical material illustrates how these transformations may become effective therapeutic tools.

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Establishing an Authentic Artistic Identity

Abstract

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian contemporary female artist who is in exile by choice. Born in Qazvin, Iran, in 1957, the artist moved to the United States in 1974 in order to study arts. Due to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, she was prevented from going back to her country. In 1990, after almost 12 years, Neshat visited Iran for the first time after the revolution, which transformed her artistic life into a productive one, full of prizes. The aim of this article is to reflect on the impact of Neshat’s homecoming experience in developing an authentic artistic identity. The emphasis of the paper will be on the artist’s first cinematic film, Turbulent (1998), which will be discussed as a manifestation of the artist’s working through the turbulent encounter with the changes in the motherland after a long separation due to the revolution.

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Editorial
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A Dialogue with the Body During Midlife

Abstract

This paper is centered on the subject’s private dialogue with his/her own body during midlife – in this case «body» means an open history coming from the wish of a child that parental figures projected, something that remains open to changes till the last minute of life. This situation revalidatesego’s discourse with him/her during this period of the life cycle, highlighted with the imprint of one’s own finitude. The author also presents a clinical case through which the understanding of the subject’s major intimacy with himself/herself is made possible – something that demands a never-ending re-adoption of changes encompassed by the passing of time. This re-adoption is the core of midlife – a period of the life cycle where physical changes usually imply different kind of losses. Through this clinical case it is also clear that the specific link that exists between the first representations that gave birth to the I-body dialogue and those closely related and specific to midlife.

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