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Abelin-Sas, G. (2008). Recent Work by Hugo Bleichmar. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 56(1):295-304.

(2008). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 56(1):295-304

Recent Work by Hugo Bleichmar

Review by:
Graciela Abelin-Sas

Hugo Bleichmar, an Argentinian who received his training in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires, has been a prolific psychoanalytic writer. He is also director of the Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalysis at Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, president of the Forum Society for Psychoanalysis in Spain, and editor of the web journal Aperturas Psicoanalíticas.

His latest work, from 1996 to the present, could be the basis for an excellent and fascinating course on psychoanalysis, its history, evolution, and current changes in relation to neuroscientific discoveries. His highly interesting and important integration of psychoanalytic theory with the work of neighboring disciplines offers significant technical and theoretical innovations. It includes not only a respectful and creative study of Freud, but also a thoughtful discussion of knowledge acquired by various psychoanalytic schools. Bleichmar goes further, however. He offers his own views about the structure and treatment of depression, anxiety, aggression, masochism, narcissism, mourning, and superego pathology and in so doing stresses the importance of interventions directed to the specific unconscious dynamics of each patient. To that end, he crowns this work with a “modular-transformational” model, a conceptual framework for the study of psychopathology that is rich in implications for both psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Throughout, Bleichmar's clinical talent is apparent in his vignettes. They guide the reader through the carefully crafted goal of his interventions and interpretations, illustrating how the theoretical frame he offers can be a clarifying technical contribution.

Inspired by Chomsky's work in linguistics regarding the modularity of the mind, Bleichmar applies this conceptualization to the study of different “motivational systems,” as well as to subtypes of the unconscious and various systems of memory. These motivational systems include the need and wish for self-preservation; hetero-preservation; attachment; sexual/sensual satisfaction; psychobiological regulation; and the attainment of narcissistic supplies.

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