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Atkinson, G. (2013). Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. Psychoanal Q., 82(2):549-556.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Rivista Di Psicoanalisi

(2013). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 82(2):549-556


Rivista Di Psicoanalisi

Gina AtkinsonAuthor Information

The Rivista di Psicoanalisi, published quarterly, is the journal of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, formed in 1925. The journal was established in 1932 as the Rivista Italiana di Psicoanalisi; its founder was Edoardo Weiss (1889-1971), also considered “the founder of psychoanalysis in Italy” (Castiello d'Antonio 2012, p. 492).

A native of Trieste, Weiss studied medicine in Vienna, where he joined the Viennese Psychoanalytic Association. He was analyzed by Paul Federn (Bolognini 2010, p. 203), to whom he had been introduced by Freud (Castiello d'Antonio 2012, p. 492). With his first psychoanalytic publication in the Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse in 1913 and his subsequent writings, he was influential in determining the early course of psychoanalysis in Italy (Pirillo 2013). However, after the Fascist regime instigated stringent racial laws in 1938, Weiss, a Jew, was forced to leave Italy and emigrated to the United States (as did many other Italian analysts during this period). Weiss settled in Chicago and became a colleague of Franz Alexander's.1

Due to Fascist oppression, the Rivista di Psicoanalisi had had to cease operations even before Weiss's emigration. It was only in 1954—eight years after the reconstruction of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, which had also been disbanded—that the Rivista was reestablished by Cesare Musatti (1897-1989), who continued to serve both as the journal's Editor and as President of the Italian Society until 1971.2 Musatti was the first psychoanalyst to translate and publish Freud's entire opus into Italian, a project that was completed only in 1980 (Giuliani 2009, p. 318).


1 For more information about Weiss and his contributions to psychoanalysis, see Roazen (2005).

2 Interestingly, Musatti, like Weiss, was Jewish, but during World War II he chose to “live underground” rather than emigrating (Giuliani 2009, p. 318).

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During Musatti's editorship, the Rivista was published by the University of Florence, while its editing and administration were carried out at the University of Milan's Institute of Psychology. In 1972, management of the journal moved to Rome under the editorial direction of Francesco Corrao (1922-1994), where the journal's administration remains today.

The Sicilian-born Corrao, who has been called “the force that shaped Italian psychoanalysis toward a Bionian theoretical framework” (Di Donna 2005, p. 45), had a profound impact on psychoanalysis in Italy. His most well-known psychoanalytic contribution is a comprehensive, two-volume opus (Corrao 1998a, 1998b). Corrao's clinical ideas were influenced by Racker's work on countertransference; furthermore, he advocated a narrative point of view with a tendency toward hermeneutics.

Other Editors of the Rivista have included Franco Fornari, credited with introducing Melanie Klein's ideas into Italian psychoanalysis, from 1974 to 1978; Eugenio Gaddini—a Winnicottian who wrote extensively on infant mental life and whose 1989 book was later translated into English (Gaddini 1992)—from 1978 to 1982; and Patrizio Campanile, who has published a number of articles in both Italian and English, from 2005 to 2009.

Since 2009, the Rivista has been edited by Alberto Luchetti of Rome, also a significant contributor to the psychoanalytic literature. Later in 2013, its editorship will be assumed by Giuseppe Civitarese of Pavia, well known for his expertise in both the work of Bion and in the application of field theory to psychoanalysis (see, for example, Civitarese 2012).

The Rivista continues as the official organ of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, which today is the second largest in Europe, with more than 700 members and 250 candidates. The Society's presidency has recently been assumed by Antonino Ferro of Pavia, also a member of the Rivista's Editorial Board, who has published extensively in English (e.g., Ferro 2011; see also his article coauthored with Giovanni Foresti in this issue of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly).

Since 2007, the Rivista has published an annual volume in English containing translations of selected articles that appeared in the journal during the previous year. According to the journal's website (; see Pirillo 2013), its current goal is to offer a broad

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vision of psychoanalysis, with the aim of capturing its essence in relationships between the clinical dimension, literature, art, mythology, the biological sciences, and philosophical thought.

Following are abstracts from the Rivista's recent content.

Volume 58, Number 1 - January/March 2012

“Freud in Chinese/The Real Relationship?”

When Freud Was Introduced to the Orient: Toward a Chinese Translation of His Works. By Tomas Plänkers, pp. 73-96.

Translation of the main body of psychoanalysis, Freud's works, can represent a milestone in the dialogue between East and West. Many believe that this objective cannot be accomplished, however, since a translation of Freud into the Chinese language is not only a translation into another language not composed of letters, but also involves profound cultural differences, in comparison to which the problems of translation into European languages seem minimal. By referring to the specifics of Freudian writing and language, as well as to the Chinese language and the history of Freudian translations into Chinese, Plänkers explains the “Freud Chinese Translation Project” currently being carried out. He asks whether Freud can truly be translated, trans-ferried into China, in the double sense of the terms to translate and to ferry across. To quote from his conclusion:

One must rightly ask whether Freud's psychoanalysis, deeply rooted in the European spirit of the Enlightenment and in the autonomy of the individual, can flourish in a China beyond the restrictions of its cultural environment. … An open question is whether in the future psychoanalysis … will be able to establish a broader public orbit [in the East] beyond a strictly therapeutic one, as has happened in the Western world. But equally important are … the connections that psychoanalysis will be able to develop in the Chinese culture with the basic spiritual traditions of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. To the degree that that succeeds, there will be a Chinese Freud translated and trans-ferried to China. [p. 92]

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Analysis via the Internet: Changes of Setting and Transference-Countertransference Issues. By Giuseppe Fiorentini, pp. 29-45.

Using clinical material from long-distance tele-analysis with a patient living in another country, the author examines the effects of global communication on treatment enabled by the Internet. He deals with the pros and cons of virtual reality in tele-analysis, which is likely to become increasingly common.

The Real Relationship: Method or Technique? By Pier Luigi Rossi, pp. 99-115.

The “real relationship” was the name of a complex issue introduced by Greenson and Wexler (1969), which endured until the time of Gill's (1981) conclusive statement; it consists of the attempt to liberate oneself from “classical technique” that is too rigid and moves farther and farther away from the actual Freudian method. Rossi also discusses a related article by Lipton (1977), noting its emphasis on aspects of the Rat Man's treatment that appeared to be at variance with Freud's stated principles of technique. According to Lipton, firsthand accounts by Freud's patients “all demonstrate the cordial relationships which Freud established with his patients” (Lipton, p. 261). In short, in Rossi's words: “Freud was not a ‘classical’ analyst and did not behave as such!” (p. 107).

Volume 58, Number 2 - April/June 2012

“Associations, Dissociations, Working Through”

Durcharbeitung: The Time of Working Through. By Roberta Guarneri, pp. 277-290.

From a theoretical point of view, the author elaborates a particular aspect of temporality in analytic treatment: the time of working through. Her line of thought has developed starting from themes relative to Freud's triple concerns: remembering, repeating, and working through—including in repetition the problem of agieren (acting out).

Dreaming and the Revelation of Dissociated Truths. By Alessandra Ginzburg, pp. 421-436.

Ginzburg's hypothesis is that dreams function within the analytic frame as a means of revealing truths that have been dissociated because

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they seem incompatible with the patient's affective relationships with his objects. Dissociation thus becomes evident as a defensive process, which in contrast to repression arises in situations experienced as traumatic to the integrity of the self, rather than in the presence of the intrapsychic refusal of conflicting contents. Included are clinical examples of dreams from a patient who, in identifying with Hamlet, staged the gradual revision of his relationships with his parents; this process led him to an awareness of his feelings both of hate and of protest, as well as those of profound love for his mother, which he had dissociated in order to safeguard the relationship.

The Truth Drive and the Grid. By Giuseppe Civitarese, pp. 335-360.

Bion was the first to express dissatisfaction with the concept of the Grid. Still, he gave it a central role in some of his most important writings. In fact, the Grid does not prove useful for the purpose for which it was created (to document the session, to enhance the observational ability of the analyst, etc.), but it does prove useful to comprehend and expand upon Bion's thought. With intuitive immediacy, the Grid shows the dialectic relationship between the various concepts of Bion's theory of the mind. In particular, column 2, aptly reinterpreted by Grotstein as the dream column, helps us grasp the significance that Bion assigned to the “truth drive.”

Volume 58, Number 3 - July/September 2012

“Actions, Memories, Countertransference: Pervasiveness and Transformations”

The “Pervasive” Countertransference: Clinical Manifestations of the Patient's Way of Being. By Paolo Fabozzi, pp. 567-586.

The author describes a function of countertransference that he defines as “pervasive,” distinguishing it from Heimann's description and from what has been traced back to the mechanism of projective identification. Such a form reveals the effect on the analyst of the re-creation in the analytic relationship—through nonverbal, primitive communications—of what has been the child's world, before achievement of the depressive position, allowing us to investigate experiences of the patient's self. While countertransference reducible to projective identification

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transmits split contents and takes place in the sphere of the object dimension, “pervasive” countertransference constitutes a modality in which there is a re-creation of the form in which the primary environment is diffused and has impregnated the life of the child's self during his states of physiological fusion with the environment.

The Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thought: Acting Out and Enactment. By Maria Ponsi, pp. 653-670.

The notion of acting out arose from analytic treatment, when Freud ran into a kind of resistance in which the patient, instead of remembering and putting into words a meaningful event from his past, put it into action or acted it out through his behavior. Subsequently, while acting out has entered the vocabulary of dynamic psychiatry to describe impulsive behaviors that replace thinking and verbal expression, in the psychoanalytic sphere, the phenomenon of acting out is explored not so much in its negative characteristics as in its communicative potential. The type of clinical event known as enactment is of particular interest—an event in which the present iteration of an unconscious fantasy involves, to a variable degree, the analyst as well. Clinical material illustrates an instance of acting out followed by an enactment, the working through of which promotes progress in the analytic work.

Memory's Fidelity and Infidelity. By Maurizio Balsamo, pp. 723-735.

Freudian discoveries showed that there are many types of memory. In the clinical context, we face a set of phenomena and mnestic forms, as well as a complex relationship between fidelity to a traumatic event and the necessary reconstruction of its infidelity in treatment; therefore, within the analytic dimension, we encounter memories of what has been happening to the subject and, even more radically, what he has not yet experienced. In other words, the question is again one of how to construct the past.

Volume 58, Number 4 - October/December 2012

“Rules, Subjective Topics, Paradoxicalness, Autism”

The Paradoxical in Winnicott. By Celestino Genovese, pp. 865-882.

The author begins by considering that very often, especially in clinical practice, Winnicott's contribution is trivialized. By contrast, this article

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highlights the complexity of the British analyst's thinking, a complexity that rests on the paradoxical structure of the entire theory. The emphasis, then, is not placed on a single paradox (such as the transitional area, frequently underlined in the literature), but on a modality of thought, the thread of which can be followed in all of Winnicott's work. Also pointed out are some implications that merit further exploration, such as aspects of paradox that could be considered the precursors of elements that, in the course of the individual's development, will later become intrapsychic conflict.

From Procedure to Rule: Analytic Free Association. By Jean-Luc Donnet, pp. 885-902.

Free association remains inscribed at the heart of the analytic method, but the evolution of conceptions of cure render the evaluation of its practical and metapsychological utility a tricky process. To clarify that utility, the author sets up a distinction, which remained latent in Freud, between the procedure of free association and the actual associativity of connections, which, under the aegis of the fundamental rule, constitute the analytic process. Privileging the spontaneity of speaking, the rule introduces the issue of speaking within the contents of what is said, and links the interpretation of transference to transference onto the word.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Autism. By Chiara Cattelan, pp. 1001-1015.

This paper highlights the role of the psychoanalyst in autistic states. The author demonstrates how the principles of the psychoanalytic method may be respected in working with these patients, though with some technical adaptations, and that these principles are suitable to work in these areas. She emphasizes the necessity of more accurate diagnostic distinctions during consultation through careful use of countertransference, and she shows that work with the autistic child, as well as with the adult who has pockets of autistic functioning, may be complementary to understanding. Considering autism to be a privileged field of observation for knowledge of the mind's development, Cattelan hopes that a space for teaching these subjects can be created within both child and adult training programs.

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Bolognini, S. (2011). Secret Passages: The Theory and Technique of Interpsychic Relations, trans. G. Atkinson. London: Routledge. [→]

Castiello d'Antonio, A. (2012). Review of Edoardo Weiss: The House That Freud Built, by Paul Roazen. Psychoanal. Q., 81:492:500. [→]

Civitarese, G. (2012). The Violence of Emotions: Bion and Post-Bionian Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge.

Corrao, F. (1998a). Orme [Footprints], Vol. 1: Contributi alla psicoanalisi. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Corrao, F. (1998b). Orme, Vol. 2: Contributi alla psicoanalisi di gruppo. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.

Di Donna, L. (2005). Psychoanalysis in Italy: its origins and evolution. Fort Da, 11:35-59. [→]

Ferro, A. (2011). Avoiding Emotions, Living Emotions, trans. I. Harvey. London: Routledge. [→]

Gaddini, E. (1992). A Psychoanalytic Theory of Infantile Experience: Conceptual and Clinical Reflections, ed. A. Limentani. London: Routledge.

Gill, M. (1981). Analysis of Transference: Theory and Technique, Vol. 1. New York: Int. Univ. Press.

Giuliani, J. (2009). Abstracts of The Italian Psychoanalytic Annual, 2007. Psychoanal. Q., 78:317:340. [→]

Greenson, R. & Wexler, M. (1969). The non-transference relationship in the psychoanalytic situation. Int. J. Psychoanal., 50:27-39. [→]

Lipton, S. (1977). The advantages of Freud's technique as shown in his analysis of the Rat Man. Int. J. Psychoanal., 58:255-273. [→]

Pirillo, N. (2013). Storia della Rivista di Psicoanalisi. [Related→]

Roazen, P. (2005). Edoardo Weiss: The House That Freud Built. New Brunswick, NJ/London: Transaction Publishers.

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Article Citation

Atkinson, G. (2013). Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. Psychoanal. Q., 82(2):549-556

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