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Da Silva, G. (1990). Borborygmi as Markers of Psychic Work During the Analytic Session—A Contribution to Freud's 'Experience of Satisfaction' and to Bion's Idea about the Digestive Model for the Thinking Apparatus. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:641-659.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:641-659

Borborygmi as Markers of Psychic Work During the Analytic Session—A Contribution to Freud's 'Experience of Satisfaction' and to Bion's Idea about the Digestive Model for the Thinking Apparatus

Guy Da Silva

SUMMARY

Borborygmi appear to be markers of psychic work, as they 'join in the conversation' during the analytic session. Stimulated by Freud's early description of the 'experience of satisfaction' and by Bion's idea that the thinking apparatus is built by analogy on the model of the digestive system, an investigation is made of specific bodily manifestations (borborygmi). In spite of their frequent occurrence, no previous investigation of borborygmi has been found in the analytic literature. Borborygmi may signal the process and acquisition of new thoughts (symbolization) and the free associations derived from borborygmi often provide the key to the understanding of the session by linking the verbal flow of ideas to the underlying sensory and affective experience, thereby providing a 'moment of truth'. Within the primitive maternal transference, borborygmi are often accompaniments to the fantasy or the hallucination of being fed by the analyst.

Clinical illustrations are presented followed by a discussion.

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