Vitality as a Theoretical and Technical Parameter in Psychoanalysis

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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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