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Fischbein, J.E. (2017). Configurations of Time, the Body, and Verbal Communication: Temporality in Patients Who Express Their Suffering through the Body. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(2):323-341.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(2):323-341

Configurations of Time, the Body, and Verbal Communication: Temporality in Patients Who Express Their Suffering through the Body

José Eduardo Fischbein

(Accepted for publication 11 August 2016)

This paper focuses on the study of temporality used as a clinical pointer to processes of affect regulation in patients who express their suffering through a discourse driven by bodily allusions. Differences between symptoms revealed by body language that conveys an experience of conflict (psychoneurotic symptoms) and somatizations are reviewed. Somatization is examined as a benchmark for the failure to resolve states of tension. The body in the session is conceptualized as a speech event. The body is considered as a psychical construction organized in the exchanges with a fellow human-being. It is thus established as a support for subjectivity. Two discourse registers are described: the discourse of the evoked body and the discourse of the perceived body. The study of Greek mythology allows us to distinguish two different types of temporality: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos represents chronological whereas Kairos subjective time. Both are present in the subject; but if greater mental disorganization supervenes, Chronos predominates as it paves the way for a defence against suffering, designed to avoid the unbearable meaning of ceasing to be. Adherence to one or other mode of temporality signals different conceptions of analytic work. The topics addressed are illustrated by various clinical vignettes.

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