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Genga, G.M. (2019). Healing as a Problem, a Challenge, or a Solution: The Concepts of Freud's Psychoanalytic Technique: A Brief Summary. DIVISION/Rev., 19:38-41.

(2019). DIVISION/Review, 19:38-41

Healing as a Problem, a Challenge, or a Solution: The Concepts of Freud's Psychoanalytic Technique: A Brief Summary

Glauco Maria Genga, M.D.

I would like to start by recalling the title of our round table, and saying that, in proposing this topic, the four of us decided to “take the bull by the horns.” What am I calling the “bull?” The theme itself of healing in psychoanalysis. I prefer to call it this way, instead of psychoanalytic healing: healing can never be separated or divided, according to professional fields. It is such, or it is not at all.

About Healing and Normality in Psychoanalysis

I find it important what Francesco Conrotto (2000), an Italian psychoanalyst, writes about healing: The word healing is not frequently used in contemporary psychoanalysis. [Conrotto] would even say that it is surrounded by an air of embarrassment, as if the word itself revealed a naivety, evoking a suspect of naïveté that everybody wants to keep away. The progressive overshadowing of the concept of psychoanalytic healing, until its almost complete oblivion, began in the 1970s, when the therapeutic optimism started to run out. This optimism had characterized the decades from the 1940s to the 1960s, which followed the pessimism of the last years of Freud's life…. We carefully avoid using this concept and, even more, the word healing, with everyone colluding, in fact, in making use of the most anodyne and intellectually more presentable term, transformation.

I agree with him: transformation or change is a much more generic word than healing.

In this regard, I will recall here the very relevant theme of the 29th International Psychoanalytical Association Congress (London, 1975): “Changes in Psychoanalytic Practice and Experience: Theoretical, Technical and Social Implications.

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