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Ferro, A. Meregnani, A. (1997). Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993 (English Edition). The Oscillation between Narcissistic Transference and Object Transference: The Undefined Area between Knowing and Being. Giovanna Giaconia and Agostino Racalbuto. Pp. 23-42.. Psychoanal Q., 66:151-152.
   
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993 (English Edition). The Oscillation between Narcissistic Transference and Object Transference: The Undefined Area between Knowing and Being. Giovanna Giaconia and Agostino Racalbuto. Pp. 23-42.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 66:151-152

Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993 (English Edition). The Oscillation between Narcissistic Transference and Object Transference: The Undefined Area between Knowing and Being. Giovanna Giaconia and Agostino Racalbuto. Pp. 23-42.

Antonino Ferro and Anna Meregnani

The authors set out a few theoretical notes concerning transference-counter- transference phenomenology in the treatment of those narcissistic personalities described by Kernberg as “infantile personalities” and adolescents who reactivate the narcissistic pattern which, at the beginning of life, represented salvation. According to the authors the narcissistic relationship—cathected and experienced before it is actually perceived—is recognizable in mnemic traces which are evidence of that relationship and produce narcissistic transference when reactivated. It develops from the “narcissism” that is not limited to early developmental phases but which is a real psychoemotional function. Specifically, this function tends toward the erotization of intensely pleasant or unpleasant sensations that have actually been experienced and which remain as unrepresentable traces. The

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authors refer to mnemic traces in which the object, though it does not have a corresponding representation, does have emotional significance. These traces, charged with affects that tend toward representability, come across as intense, pleasant or unpleasant emotional-sensory experiences and develop into a narcissistic relationship.

To deal with the mnemic trace of the elementary, unrepresentable emotional situation, the analyst must bring his or her own narcissistic nucleus into play and be available for identification with an affect capable of venturing beyond the limits of representability. This affect contains, in nuce, the relationship; this is unrepresentable until an apparatus for thinking and representationally experiencing comes into existence.

Freud himself maintains that “the affect does not as a rule arise till the break- through to a new representation in the system Cs. has been successfully achieved” and, in the authors' opinion, this “new representation” is the analyst's willingness to function as a decoder of emotional-sensory experience, and therefore as the one who can make sense out of what by itself would only be perceived in an elementary, pleasant or unpleasant manner. In other words, the analyst's function is to analyze the emotions that the other generates in him or her, recovering a quota of verbal representation ability. In this way the analyst can help the patient experience himself/herself as an authentic generator of thoughts.

The authors present clinical reports which demonstrate that the feedback to the patient's communications does not concern contents and representations as much as the function of “container.” In the analyst's internal world, abstaining from verbal representations opens a regenerative “void,” a vital, unsaturated condition. The oneiric area is located in this transitory abstinence, suspended between narcissism and object relations, as an authentic thought-generating area.

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Article Citation

Ferro, A. and Meregnani, A. (1997). Rivista di Psicoanalisi. XXXIX, 1993 (English Edition).. Psychoanal. Q., 66:151-152

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