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Ferro, A. (2009). Transformations in Dreaming and Characters in the Psychoanalytic Field,. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(2):209-230.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(2):209-230

IPA Chicago Congress Keynote Papers

Transformations in Dreaming and Characters in the Psychoanalytic Field, Language Translation

Antonino Ferro

Having reviewed certain similarities and differences between the various psychoanalytic models (historical reconstruction/development of the container and of the mind's metabolic and transformational function; the significance to be attributed to dream-type material; reality gradients of narrations; tolerability of truth/lies as polar opposites; and the form in which characters are understood in a psychoanalytic session), the author uses clinical material to demonstrate his conception of a session as a virtual reality in which the central operation is transformation in dreaming (de-construction, de-construction, de-concretization, and re-dreaming), accompanied in particular by the development of this attitude in both patient and analyst as an antidote to the operations of transformation in hallucinosis that bear witness to the failure of the functions of meaning generation. The theoretical roots of this model are traced in the concept of the field and its developments as a constantly expanding oneiric holographic field; in the developments of Bion's ideas (waking dream thought and its derivatives, and the patient as signaller of the movements of the field); and in the contributions of narratology (narrative transformations and the transformations of characters and screenplays). Stress is also laid on the transition from a psychoanalysis directed predominantly towards contents to a psychoanalysis that emphasizes the development of the instruments for dreaming, feeling, and thinking. An extensive case history and a session reported in its entirety are presented so as to convey a living impression of the ongoing process, in the consulting room, of the unsaturated co-construction of an emotional reality in the throes of continuous transformation. The author also describes the technical implications of this model in terms of forms of interpretation, the countertransference, reveries, and, in particular, how the analyst listens to the patient's communications. The paper ends with an exploration of the concepts of grasping (in the sense of clinging to the known) and casting (in relation to what is as yet undefined but seeking representation and transformation) as a further oscillation of the minds of the analyst and the patient in addition to those familiar from classical psychoanalysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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