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Aubry, C. (2005). On: Incorporation of an invasive object. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(2):547.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(2):547

On: Incorporation of an invasive object Related Papers

Candy Aubry

Dear Sirs,

I was very interested by Williams's (2004) descriptions of patients who describe actual bodily suffering, some even stating they feel they have a foreign body inside. However, I was puzzled by his closing comments concerning ‘un-incorporation’ and ‘disidentification’. Whilst the object may well have had invasive qualities, incorporation remains a phantasy, albeit a powerful one. Identification, however, is not a phantasy but a long process. Identifications are built up over time and idealisation of certain aspects of an object may be incorporated and caught up in these identifications or ‘precipitates of the ego’ as Freud (1923) called them. De-idealisation of these harmful or unhealthy identifications is what to my mind takes place in the analytic process. Old identifications need to be de-idealised and remodelled as new identifications, new ‘precipitates’, are laid down, so changing the ‘geo-strata’ formation of the ego.

Yours sincerely,

23 January 2005


Freud S (1923). The ego and the id. SE 19, p. 3-66. [→]

Williams P (2004). Incorporation of an invasive object. Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 85: 1333-48.

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