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Korbivcher, C.F. (2005). The theory of transformations and autistic states: Autistic transformations: A proposal. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(6):1595-1610.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(6):1595-1610

The theory of transformations and autistic states: Autistic transformations: A proposal Language Translation

Celia Fix Korbivcher

This work integrates two areas of thinking: one in which the author develops considerations regarding observation methods of mental phenomena in psychoanalysis according to Bion's theory of transformations; the other in which she is concerned with the investigation of primitive mental states—protomental states—more specifically, the autistic states of neurotic patients, described by Tustin. Some ideas on the ‘philosophical’ position underlying transformations theory are elaborated, particularly emphasizing the idea that the same phenomenon in psychoanalysis may be considered from different perspectives, as long as it is situated within the theoretical reference frame to which it belongs. The author considers the idea that this method of phenomenon observation is part of a wider context of general human knowledge, in which uncertainty and relativity of concepts are the main components. By adopting transformations theory as a perspective of phenomena observation that pervades the analytical meeting, the author questions whether it is possible to include other groups of transformation of emotional experiences in this theory, which shows particular phenomena with specific qualities, distinct from those emphasized by Bion. She hypothesizes that autistic phenomena present in neurotic patients, characterizing autistic states, may be considered and detached, making up a particular group of transformation of emotional experience, which analysts often face in their daily practice. She names this group ‘autistic transformations’.

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