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GarcĂ­a, J.E. (1986). Identification and its Vicissitudes in the Psychoses. The Importance of the Concept of the 'Maddening Object'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:133-146.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:133-146

Identification and its Vicissitudes in the Psychoses. The Importance of the Concept of the 'Maddening Object'

Jorge E. García


This paper describes 'psychotizing bonds' in terms of identification processes, the way they function in the constitution of the psychic apparatus and their relation to the deficient self. The author relates the pathogenic potentiality of the psychotic nuclei with the tendency of psychotic disorganization to be irreversible. Psychotic regression is considered in terms of pathogenic identification with forms of ego and superego functioning that belong to the primitive parental objects of infancy. Whereas normogenic identifications structure the subject's own ego resources, the pathogenic identifications which appear in the psychotic transference, form bonds that stifle spontaneity and force the self to be transformed into the other. These ideas lead thus to the concept of the 'maddening object'. Finally, the pathogenic identifications in the psychoanalytic process are examined. The patient should be 'rescued' from these bonds linking the self with the maddening objects. The analyst must hold the conviction that a virtual and potential subject exists in the amalysand, in spite of his psychotic condition. The deficient self which becomes manifest during the moments of dis-identification must be assisted.

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