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Antinucci, G. (2004). Another language, another place: To hide or be found?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(5):1157-1173.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(5):1157-1173

Another language, another place: To hide or be found?

Giuseppina Antinucci

The author examines some specific features of the analytic encounter when both patient and analyst are émigrés from the same cultural and linguistic background. This can result in splitting processes that operate silently and are difficult to reach, but can also provide rich material, as they offer the couple the opportunity to work through the pain and the guilt over what is lost—ultimately the lost mother—murdered and betrayed. Working through the split faces the analyst with important technical considerations, bearing in mind that the shared cultural identity can conceal itself in the more undifferentiated features of the couple's psyche and be projected on to the setting. As such, it needs to be put to analytic scrutiny if the treatment is to avoid a stalemate. These are specific cultural defences deployed in the problematic existential encounter with the foreigner/other within oneself. Using clinical material from two cases, the author shows how the couple's access to a dual linguistic signifying system can enrich the analytic dialogue, but can also result in enactment. Careful monitoring of the transference-countertransference relationship is essential to the progress of the analytic work.

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