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Puget, J. (1989). Social Violence and Psychoanalysis in the Argentinian Context. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(3):363-369.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(3):363-369

Social Violence and Psychoanalysis in the Argentinian Context

Janine Puget

This paper deals with an especially violent historical period, in order to study the mental representation of the social context. The period is that of the Argentine dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, conceived as a social catastrophe (Puget 1985, 1986).

We try to recognise the effect of violence exerted by state terrorism. Specifically it is terror, denied and transformed into a state of terrorism with its equivalent within the psychic apparatus.

We stress two main difficulties for the recognition of the social context within the therapeutic framework. These are the lack of psychoanalytical hypothesis and the fact that, because of the overlapping worlds (Puget & Wender 1984), the analyst may suffer from narcissistic perturbations and traumatic effects so that he will not have time and space to work through the manifest content of a session.

In trying to make a brief description of the Argentine social context, we want to stress that the dictatorship did its utmost to produce ignorance, create false expectations, reduce to silence any thoughts which were considered against the regime, use fear and panic as an instrument and transform information into misinformation or into perverse information by using mainly paradoxical messages.

Little by little, a certain vocabulary began to disappear from common language. It was the beginning of new taboo. The language of political power dealt with the protection of family and the creation of a new order (remember Hitler), based on a system of impunity according to which crime, torture, lies and the abolition of human rights were allowed in order to restore and defend a so-called ‘National Security’.

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