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Gaddini, A. Riefolo, G. (2020). “I-Ness” and the Dissociative Process. Working with Defensive and Creative Dissociations in the Analytic Process. Am. J. Psychoanal., 80(1):53-68.

(2020). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 80(1):53-68

“I-Ness” and the Dissociative Process. Working with Defensive and Creative Dissociations in the Analytic Process

Andrea Gaddini, M.D. and Giuseppe Riefolo, M.D.

We suggest that the analytic dialogue develops as a continuous movement that we call “Dissociative Process,” and that this process is the continuous oscillation between defensive positions (repression) and creative positions. Dissociation, as a defense, is a Freudian theoretical stance, while Dissociation, as a possibility for new and creative solutions, is a theory emanating from Janet and was adopted, especially, by relational and inter-subjective psychoanalysis. Through a clinical vignette we suggest how the attitude of an analyst, who is attentive to the Dissociative Process, will respect the Defensive Dissociations of the patient. But, at the same time, the analyst will be particularly careful to support potential solutions, never made real before, that emerge as new associative aggregates (Janet's Reaggrégation psychique) deriving from the dissociation of the frustrating or traumatic experience, which we propose calling “Creative Dissociations”. The dissociative solutions (defensive and creative) are not sequential but simultaneous.

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