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Blum, H.P. (1986). On Identification and its Vicissitudes. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:267-276.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:267-276

On Identification and its Vicissitudes

Harold P. Blum

Analytic congresses, symposia, lectures, and analytic meetings of all types could not be held without identification with our analytic aims and ideals, and with our analytic heritage. Identification, however, applies to an essential ingredient of all meetings and of all social and emotional relationships and communication. Identification is intrinsic to social process, group process, and the analytic process. Not only do the Congress speakers and audience identify with each other, but developmentally, so do parent and child, husband and wife. Intrafamilial identifications exist between relatives and the different generations, and trial identification is a component of all empathy and all friendly relations.

Regrettably, I can only select certain authors and papers for discussion. Just as a formal complete summary of the Congress has not been intended here, so too, no extensive survey of full-scale discussion of the selected papers is proposed. Rather, certain significant ideas and formulations are addressed which stimulate and articulate with my own commentary. The three encompassing and erudite pre-published papers of Etchegoyen (1985), Kanzer (1985), and Widlöcher (1985) have all contributed to our understanding of the concept of identification, its theoretical development and technical application, and some of the problems surrounding the term. In addition, the papers provide valuable reference lists which together serve as an encyclopaedia of the important and relevant literature on the subject.

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