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Bourdin, D. (2009). Le transitionnel, le sexuel et la réflexivité [Transitionality, Sexuality and Reflexivity] by René Roussillon Dunod, Paris, 2008; 257 pp; €27. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(4):917-923.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(4):917-923

Book Reviews

Le transitionnel, le sexuel et la réflexivité [Transitionality, Sexuality and Reflexivity] by René Roussillon Dunod, Paris, 2008; 257 pp; €27

Review by:
Dominique Bourdin

Psychoanalysis rediscovers itself with every treatment. Its formulations and its sets of problems nonetheless have a history, and René Roussillon, a full member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, considers himself to be part of a metapsychological turn opening the way to a paradigm shift: at first a method of heightening consciousness, then a practical way of dealing with the changes needed for unconscious material that has perhaps never been conscious to emerge into consciousness, psychoanalysis is now, it is argued, placing the main emphasis on subjective appropriation, and it is doing so by developing certain themes relating to narcissism and its mechanisms.

This approach situates Roussillon's work within a strong tendency of French psychoanalysis to highlight processes of subjectification which are not present initially but which develop during treatment (Cahn, 1999, 2002, 2004; Richard and Wainrib, 2006). Sparked notably by psychoanalytic work with adolescents, interest in subjectification processes has made analysts attend to what happens in the intrapsychic realm in response to the inter-subjective one. The aim is to foster the development of internal relationships to the self and to the other that are committed to an acknowledgement of the interactions between those relationships and subjective positions—notably in patients whose relationship to the outside world tends towards the discharge of excitation through acting out and avoiding thought.

[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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