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Nicolò, A.M. (2016). Thinking in Terms of Links. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 6(2):206-214.

(2016). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 6(2):206-214

Thinking in Terms of Links

Anna Maria Nicolò

Using Freud's metaphor of the light-sensitive plate that makes the final part of spectrum visible, the author suggests that complementary, mutually reverberating aspects of two personalities trigger the mutual influencing and amplification of contained affects or parts of the self, which would otherwise remain hidden. The relevant feature is mainly that of highlighting of new aspects that had always belonged to that person. This process can, in extreme cases, overwhelm what had, up to that moment, been the identity known by that individual and by others. The folie à deux is located at the pathological end of the spectrum, but it can be viewed as a universal model of a dyadic psychological functioning where the link is the central element. In this case, the link itself can activate and induce aspects in each of the personalities as they interact. A link is the third object co-constructed by two or more mutually interdependent members of a family. It is a shared unconscious co-construction by its members. It influences the partners and is powerful enough to prevent the development of personality disorders.

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