Contents & abstracts

Theory and Technique
M. G. Fusacchia. A Brief Introduction to the Articles by A. Green and H. F. Smith. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 217-218.

A. Green. Sources and Vicissitudes of Being in D. W. Winnicott’s Work. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 219-237.

The author questions the reasons for the appearance of the concept of being in Winnicott’s work four years before his death. Winnicott illustrated his concept of being by describing a patient in whom he found a complete dissociation of male and female elements. Insisting on the role of the environment and the part played by the mother, Winnicott considered that the pure female element relates to the breast or the mother, in the sense that the baby is becoming the breast. He opined that instinct or drive has nothing to do with this. The present paper discusses this viewpoint at length, comparing Winnicott’s and Freud’s positions. It is noted that Winnicott introduced his concept of being at a time when he felt threatened by his own mortality.

H. F. Smith. Being and the Death Instict: the Quality of André Green’s Thinking. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 238-245.

Every true thinking is a rethinking, and in the process we inevitably learn more than the author set out to teach us. This is particularly evident in André Green’s controversial “Sources and Vicissitudes of Being in D. W. Winnicott’s Work”. This paper is the latest in Green’s careful study of Winnicott and, as he tells us, Winnicott’s writing “may be disquieting even today if we examine at close scrutiny its mixture of contradictions, shortcomings, and intuitions of genius”. Due partly to Green’s “close scrutiny,” partly to his passionate engagement with Winnicott, partly to the clarity of his discourse – in which he seems to hone everything to its essence – but primarily due to Green’s personal way of thinking things through, we understand some aspects of psychoanalysis that it seems we never quite understood before.

B. Ithier. Life or Death during Adolescence. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 246-258.

The author follows the hazardous journey undertaken by the adolescent Self that is alienated in its subjection to internal objects. Such journey calls up these hostile objects that are nuclei of parts of the Ego, the latter’s crystallizing function having channelled them into narcissistic defences that are real platforms of identification and alienation for the Ego. The author seeks to demonstrate how adolescents find it hard to identify a position between the guilt felt when engaging with these objects and the emancipation of the Ego achieved through assumption of that Self that is encountered and worked through during sessions.  Recognition of both the positive and negative affects arising between the two members of the parental couple allows an adolescent an experience of intimacy in which thinking is tied to emotions and feelings. According to the author, denial of the suffering caused by pathogenic external parents induces a tragic dialectic between internal objects and external ones that can lead to suicide. The author concludes by pointing out the adolescent’s radical aspiration to Bion’s “O”, so as to become all one with his/her emotions in the encounter with a creative and infinite Self.

Clinical Reflections
L. Tabanelli. Are They Really Outside the Analysis Room? Working with the Parents of Adolescents. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 259-277.

After giving a historic overview of the place occupied by work with parents in the evolution of child and adolescent psychoanalysis, the author suggests that such work is essentially unavoidable, even in cases of psychotherapy for adolescents. Work with parents – in all the various forms that this can take – is fundamental for the psychotherapy of their children, being an element underpinning every possibility of developmental change. The author therefore does not consider it a mere accessory but, rather, an integrating part and an exquisitely psychoanalytical form of intervention to all intents and purposes.

G. Giordo. The Psychoanalytical Encounter with a Supposedly Autistic Child. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 278-296.

The forms of knowledge and treatment relating to isolated and disinclined children are organized into various paradigms. The author emphasises the importance of already listening to such children’s idiosyncratic forms of expression during the diagnostic consultation, if the appropriate form of therapy is to be chosen. This article is structured around three moments in the work of analysis with a child who shunned relationships and talking: 1) the presumed call, during the consultation, for a function in the analyst that was missing from the parents’ logical and business-like way of functioning, 2) the forms through which the child re-found pleasure in his own language in the turning point of the transference and countertransference dialogue; and 3) a comparison of the initial hypotheses with the historical truth that could be inferred from the young patient’s narrative truth.

Clinical Diary
F. Di Cesare. An adolescent’s Analytical Journey Towards Adulthood: Transference Scenes. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 297-310.

This work recounts the main moments of the psychoanalytical psychotherapy carried out with a late adolescent patient who was accompanied into adulthood. It focuses on instances of transference, which are observed and described on several levels and proposed with the aim of emphasizing the treatment’s most significant moments of passage. The real, traumatic occurrence of the patient’s father’s illness (which pushed the former to request psychotherapy) emerges as the second phase of a poorly resolved, oedipal moment of passage during childhood. The progressive psychoanalytical working-through of the anxieties relating to both the primal scene and the parricidal phantasy permits the inauguration of processes of identification with the figure of the father – whose internal symbolical-affective dimension had been rejected through defence mechanisms of splitting – and the re-dimensioning of an entangling and incestuous tie with the maternal figure. The psychotherapy’s discontinuation approximately three years after it was begun can be considered an extreme example of acting out or, conversely, as the signal of an acquired maturity.

The Enchanting Screen
R. De Lorenzis. Secrets and Lies. Richard e Piggle, 25, 3, 2017, 311-314.