[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper offers a contribution towards furthering our understanding of a theme more usually associated with the Freudian tradition, namely the role and function of words as action, particularly in relation to the representational process and its somatic roots. Some reference to neuroscience research will be offered in this respect. It also considers the value of differentiating Empathy from Empathism, as defined by the Italian psychoanalyst Stefano Bolognini who distinguishes informing complementary countertransference from states of over-concordance. Two analytic sessions taken from the intensive analysis of a deeply deprived late-latency child showing violent behaviour are provided with the aim of illustrating the application of these concepts. It is argued that, given the same elaboration of the countertransference and the adequate empathic position on the part of the analyst, the difference in the outcome of the interpretation was made by the specific use of words-in this case the use or not of the personal pronoun-in the two sessions. As the case material is taken from the clinical work of a supervisee, some elements regarding the supervisory situation are also discussed in the paper.
No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · The Journal of analytical psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the psychogenetic hypotheses on child autism have been superseded, psychoanalysis can still reflect on the relational exchange and its sensory aspects in concomitance with the mental development of these patients. Without making generalizations as regards the pathogenesis, but considering the specific features of each autistic child, it may be possible to achieve an integration of those islands of competence that make up these patients' limited personal heritage. Such integration may be reached through the analysis of representational, emotional and relational transformations. The first part of this article describes the case of an autistic child in treatment from the age of four on a four-times-weekly basis who, during puberty, developed severe formal thought disorders together with delusional and hallucinatory formations. The second part develops some post-Jungian theoretical contributions, such as the concept of self as nothingness and the idea of the unsaturated archetype, so as to evaluate the function of some a-priori concepts in support of the analyst's position. These concepts are considered in relation to Bion's model of transformation, and to the formulations on dimensional awareness, especially on the shift from a two-dimensionality to three-dimensionality view, as well as to the rhythm of the object's presence and absence.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · The International Journal of Psychoanalysis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This contribution describes some aspects of the work with a four-year-old autistic child who was treated for many years with four times weekly sessions of psychotherapy. The fluctuations between the symbolic and non-symbolic use of external objects are described, as well as the ever changing quality of the child's object relations. The rhythmical element in the analysand-analyst interplay is of great importance: the construction of the temporal shapes (Alvarez) and the modulation of presence and absence are relevant as regards the progressive capacity to name aspects of external reality and subjective experience. From a theoretical point of view, the contributions of both the post-Jungian, including Michael Fordham, and the post-Kleinian traditions are outlined. The notions of pre-conception (Bion) and of archetype (Jung) are immensely helpful in working with autistic children as they actually help the analyst in assuming that some proto-trace of representational potential is always present in the individual.
No preview · Article · Apr 2010 · The Journal of analytical psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Through clinical vignettes taken from the analytic treatment of an autistic child, the paper explores Bion' s notion of selected fact in relation to the post-Jungian theoretical speculation on the emergent mind. The issue of the subjectivity of the analyst is considered and explored in this light. A review of some neuroscience research contributions to a possible understanding of dialogue, empathy and rhythm is briefly described, particularly in terms of its potential usefulness for the psychoanalytic mind when working with autistic children. In general, the notions of ‘temporal shapes’ (Alvarez) and ‘sound-object’ (Maiello) provide support for the theoretical and clinical explorations of the issue of rhythmic interactions. Rhythmic sounds are distinguished from stereotypical and meaningless sounds produced by the analysand, whether or not they are accompanied by body movements, and their function of activating representations and amplifications in the analyst's mind is explored in the stage of treatment when the child does not yet speak. The Jungian concept of amplification is considered and revisited in this context.
No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Journal of Child Psychotherapy