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Meregnani, A. Ferro, A. (1995). Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993. Field Theory and Transgenerational Fantasies. Claudio Neri. Pp. 41-60.. Psychoanal Q., 64:630.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993. Field Theory and Transgenerational Fantasies. Claudio Neri. Pp. 41-60.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 64:630

Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993. Field Theory and Transgenerational Fantasies. Claudio Neri. Pp. 41-60.

Anna Meregnani and Antonino Ferro

The author examines the literature on the inheritance of transgenerational fantasies and phantasms and says that, making use of the “ego-alien factor” and “transgenerational” hypotheses in his work, he found that, though they were relevant to his patients' situations on different occasions, some aspects contrasted significantly with the clinical details of certain cases. What concerns the author most are the elements in disharmony with the transgenerational fantasy in his clinical experience. The most important difference consists in the fact that in some cases the analyst was not facing identification with one of the parents (or a chain of identification), but an almost total fuzziness between generations. “Content” was not inherited by one person from another, but, in a sense, spread around like gas, without being halted by the barriers set up by generations' and individuals' “psychic skin.” Quite to the contrary, it was the “content” that kept together people who were “unstructured” and undifferentiated in relation to that particular aspect of their identity.

Neri provides two interesting examples from his clinical practice and introduces the notion of field to deal with a specific aspect of his theme: whether mental and relational fields can cross over several generations. He concludes that the transgenerational and transindividual propagation of fields can find an explanation if we consider the existence of a protomental stage in which the phenomena are simultaneously physical and mental and in which the individual is part of a system, even when a distinction has been achieved at other mental levels. According to this explanation, the protomental system can be considered the physical-mental basis by means of which specific characteristics of relational and mental fields propagate. As the notion of a protomental system is highly abstract, for the purposes of clinical work the author thinks it useful to associate it with the idea of the existence of conditions and fantasies connected with “being one and the same,” and briefly considers this fantasy. In the final part of the paper the author deals with problems of technique in situations where a “limiting oppressive field” occupies the potential analytical space.

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Article Citation

Meregnani, A. and Ferro, A. (1995). Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993.. Psychoanal. Q., 64:630

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