Contents & abstracts

Theory and Technique

Petrelli D. The Sense of Disappointment That War Brings. Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022,


The article opens with the current situation that has seen the two catastrophes of the pandemic and the war follow uninterruptedly one after the other, provoking widespread experiences of disorientation, disappointment and loss. It suggests that these phenomena should be read in the light of Fornari’s theory on war as a paranoid working-through of grief and loss. A brief clinical excerpt and some literary references develop the theme of the difficulty of integrating aggressive drives and the need, to that end, for the ties of Eros and a process of becoming responsible that allows a depressive working-through of guilt.

Carratelli I.T. Some Notes on Joyce Mcdougall’s Historical Contribution to the Treatment of Child Psychosis: Dialogue with Sammy. Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022, 132-147.

The author dwells on some clinical fragments, including the fear of the “Visage Magique”, that emerged during the treatment of Sammy, a ten-year-old boy suffering from hallucinatory and delusional psychosis. The analysis conducted by J. McDougall received regular confirmation shortly after each session in the form of extensive comments from her supervisor, S. Lebovici. The article describes some of the drawings that the child produced during sessions in an attempt to recover, in the here-and-now of the analytic relationship, the “as if” function that risked being lost amidst the chaos and psychotic confusion. There then follow some short reflections on this clinical work that, inter alia, testifies to how J. McDougall tried to integrate the structural vision of the child psychoses that is proper to the French analytic tradition with the empirical vision proposed by Winnicott and the Intermediate Group in the British tradition. Between the lines, the author glimpses some of J. McDougall’s germinal ideas about the concept of expanded transference in serious patients who verge on being unanalysable: ideas that were to be developed subsequently by high-calibre French analysts such as A. Green and R. Roussillon.

Clinical Reflections

Pala E. The Quest for Forbidden Knowledge. Seeking-Finding-Keeping. Richard & Piggle,

30, 2, 2022, 148-162.

The central theme in this article is the integration of the Self through corporeity and the experience of existing as a real body: a theme that finds its expression and development in the description of a psychotherapeutic journey with a little boy about to enter the latency period. In the absence of an organized consciousness of the body’s cohesion and boundaries, the clear distinction between inner and outer experience and between the Self and object representations has no possibility of emerging. Thus, the nucleus both of the experience of Self and of personal identity does not achieve full differentiation from the dual unity of the mother-child bond. The therapeutic process fostered the passage from the phase of non-integration to that of integration by starting off the processes that structure the Self.

Pisciotta A., Di Pasquale M., Di Trapani A., Dolcemascolo C., Immordino A., Vetrano F. Digital and Virtual worlds During Adolescence: Potential Space… A Retreat for the Mind? Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022, 163-175.

Partly in the light of emergencies caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the authors ask themselves questions about the world of the new digital technologies and virtual reality. This with reference to adolescents for whom cyber space has become the protagonist in their mental and relational lives as they replace bonds with connections and often confuse the two. The images in video-games, in particular, provoke a sensory hyper-activation that risks confining them to a solipsistic dimension, provoking the more fragile ones to flee the anxieties natural to their age and obscuring the possibility of translating them into words. Referring to Winnicottian theory, the authors emphasize the importance attaching to what kind of use an adolescent makes of the internet world. Through two brief clinical examples, they highlight the need to transform that world into a potential space that can help him/her to draw closer to his/her inner world and explore hidden feelings and thoughts.

Olivieri S. The Transitional Object Beyond Childhood. Creative Processes in the Analysis Room. Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022, 176-187.

This article asks questions about the therapeutic relationship with seriously ill patients, with particular reference to the subject of creativity during sessions and adaptation to the patient’s needs. During psychotherapy with a boy entering adolescence, something “worrying” suddenly appears and disorients the therapist: Pimpi, a cloth rabbit from which the boy quickly becomes inseparable. “Is it possible to talk about a transitional object in relation to a twelve-year-old?” the therapist wonders, worrying about colluding with childishness rather than supporting the adolescent processes. There follows a reflection on the status of the transitional object beyond childhood. The technical choice to consider the soft toy as belonging to the transitional phenomena, thus making the most of its creative aspect, was to facilitate regression to the state of dependence and the subsequent recommencement of development that had appeared blocked.

Clinical Work Within Institutions

Alterio S. Experiences of Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders in an Institutional Context.

Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022, 188-212.

The treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders is addressed from the specific perspective of working in the institutional context of a Paediatric Neuropsychiatric Unit. The author seeks to show how the tool of psychoanalysis may be put at the service of a treatment-planning project that not only accommodates an intervention’s individual dimension but also permeates and passes through to the collective one of the treatment team, albeit amidst a variety of different approaches. The author also highlights how, in particularly demanding treatment contexts such as those created by caring for these young patients, it is necessary not only to have appropriate, well-structured intervention tools but also to be able to apply them.

The Enchanting Screen

Rossi M. Nowhere Special (Una Storia D’amore) (2020). Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022, 213-215.

D’Amato G.M. Strappare Lungo i Bordi (Tear Along The Dotten Line) (2021). Richard & Piggle, 30, 2, 2022, 216-218.


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