Contents & abstracts

Theory and Technique
S. Oliva. Presenting Felix Deutsch’s “A Footnote to Freud’s ‘Fragment of an Analysis of a
Case of Hysteria’”. Richard e Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 107-110.

This presentation of Felix Deutsch’s article, A Footnote to Freud’s ‘Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria’, offers some biographical information about its psychoanalyst author, a pioneer in the field of psychosomatic illnesses. It also briefly mentions the reception that Freud’s account of the encounter with Dora received in commentaries and reassessments of that famous clinical case over time. This in the light of psychoanalysts’ changing attitudes towards certain historico-social determinants and psychoanalytical concepts not taken into consideration in Freud’s time.

F. Deutsch. A Footnote to Freud’s “Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria”. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 111-118.

The author describes his meeting with Dora, Sigmund Freud’s famous patient. The meeting took place twenty-two years after the end of the psychoanalysis lasting only three months that she began at the age of eighteen. The encounter was requested by the ear, nose and throat specialist who was treating the patient for Méniére’s Disease and it allowed the author both to discover how Dora’s life had progressed after she prematurely ended her psychoanalysis and to note what Freud had observed and written regarding the conversion symptoms that the patient had presented during treatment.

Sincerity: Reflections Stemming from D. Meltzer’s Thinking

L. Iannotta. Introduction Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 119-123.

D. Houzel. Intimacy’s Space. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 124-136.

Taking as his starting point the concept of intimacy as defined by Donald Meltzer in his article Sincerity (1971), the author proposes a reconsideration of the concept of mental space. He contests the equating of mental space with the Euclidean space of perception as the former appears in adult analysands’ dreams and in the games and drawings encountered in child analysis. He proposes a topological definition of mental space based on intimate relationship, in which it is the sharing of emotions that provides the basic elements of the topological structure. Clinical material is used to illustrate the model proposed.

A. Hahn. The Analyst’s State of Mind and Growth in the Psychoanalytical Process. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 137-144.

Focussing on the analyst’s internal world, the author reflects on the most complex of the inherent difficulties in working with patients. To this end, he explores the role and function intuition has in an analyst’s receptivity and understanding and how unconscious knowledge is transformed into interpretations. The choice of the language used when interpreting and the sensitivity that leads to a genuine exchange with the patient carries the transference forward and allows the growth process to evolve within the analytic relationship. The author also explicitly states and discusses the consequences both of an analyst’s failure to use intuition to create intimacy and of certain technical errors that can be encountered in clinical practice.

S. Maiello. A Discussion of the Articles by D. Houzel and A. Hahn. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 145-152.

D. Petrelli. Identification Processes and Authenticity. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 153-169.

The article tackles the subject of the distinction drawn – as D. Meltzer’s thinking progressed – between narcissistic processes of identification (projective identification – in its various forms and modes – and adhesive identification) and introjective ones, where internal objects are seen as the basis of personality development, in its aspects of authenticity/creativity or, conversely, pseudo-maturity. In this conceptual context, the author outlines a definition of the “authenticity” concept – as opposed to that of the “false self” or “as if” personality – making particular reference to the implications not only for the development of the transference/counter-transference relationship but also in relation to technical problems of psychoanalytic interpretation and the work of defending mutual idealizations during the analytic process.

L. Carbone Tirelli. “Claustrum” and Psychoanalytical Work. One of Donald Meltzer’s Supervisions. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 170-183.

The author quotes from the transcript of her clinical material and the comments made on it by Donald Meltzer during a seminar held in Rome in 1987. These were the years preceding his writing of The Claustrum: An Investigation of Claustrophobic Phenomena, which was to be published in London in 1992. The theme of psychoses deriving from geographical confusion that tend to turn into reclusive-type psychoses is treated in relation to the sessions with a five-year-old girl. Meltzer refers to the little girl’s diagnostic assessment (which requires a specific interpretational technique) and then illustrates both her entry into the “claustrum” and the intrusive projections that are prevalently directed at identification with the internal mother.  The necessary exploration of the combined object leads the author to reflect on the development of oedipal events. The article also notes the importance of an in-depth study of claustrophobic states for understanding pathologies such as selective mutism and states of isolation during adolescence.

G. M. Mazzoncini. The Contribution Made to Psychoanalysis by Aesthetic Conflict. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 184-189.

This article highlights how Meltzer, with his theorization of aesthetic conflict, connects to the sources of psychoanalysis – Freud, Klein and Bion – and makes some significant changes. At the very beginning, the child has a conflictual, love/fear relationship with the object’s beauty.  This experience becomes the primum movens for the mind’s birth and for coming into contact with the world: aesthetic conflict opens the mind to knowledge and constitutes a continual cognitive drive. The aesthetic-experience model puts sensations and emotions at the centre of thought development. Aesthetic conflict becomes an indispensable analytic model for clinical practice as, indeed, for understanding all art forms, insofar as the latter are symbolic representations of feelings.

G. Lisa Milana. Some Advice for Those Practising the Profession of Psychoanalyst. Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 190-194.

The article tackles the subject of passing on psychoanalytical knowledge and explicitly refers to aspects of Donald Meltzer’s thinking. The author identifies one distinctive aspect of this thinking in the not carrying out mere “analysis” but, rather, “the analyst’s own” unique and unrepeatable “analysis”: a highly responsible proposition that nevertheless carries the risk of worrying drifts. The author always has recourse to Meltzer’s thinking when facing these traps.  A stratagem to which she attaches great value is the avoidance of working alone. This by seeking possibilities to share one’s experience within a group or a small scientific community in which the kind of sensitivity and enquiry that is born and flourishes in the pooling of thoughts can be shared.

The Enchanted Screen
C. Altieri. Il Piccolo Archimede (The Little Archimedes). Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 195-198.
A. Vantaggio. La Piccola Lola (Holy Lola). Richard & Piggle, 25, 2, 2017, 199-201.