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de Mijolla, A. (1987). Unconscious Identification Fantasies and Family Prehistory. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:397-403.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:397-403

Unconscious Identification Fantasies and Family Prehistory

Alain de Mijolla


Discovery of the fact that a subject identifies in an obvious way with another is at first only the awareness of a present process: involuntary mimesis, obedience to early 'identifying designations' or simple imitation deliberately carried out.

Much psychic work remains to be done before we can think of such phenomena as 'screen-identifications'. The psychoanalytic interpretation of these dynamic formations will lead to the resolution of genuine 'identification complexes' through the reconstruction of scenarios which I have named 'unconscious identification fantasies'. These fantasies stage characters from the infantile prehistory and family saga of a subject who may be compelled to live out in his behaviour, symptoms, dreams, or even sometimes delusions, episodes pertaining to the past existence of the 'ego's visitors' linked to the most archaic processes that constitute the personality.

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