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Borgogno, F. (2008). The Relevance of “Role Reversal” in Today's Psychoanalytic Work. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 17(4):213-220.

(2008). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 17(4):213-220

The Relevance of “Role Reversal” in Today's Psychoanalytic Work

Franco Borgogno

In this paper, the author's main focus is on “role reversal:” a primitive inter-intra-psychic process at the forefront of our current psychoanalytic practice, but not sufficiently theorised in our literature. The dynamics of “role reversal” are clinically presented and discussed in their two main aspects (the unconscious identification with the parents and with their psychic culture, and therefore the concomitant dissociation of the infant part of the self) through the presentation of analytic material regarding a typical “role reversal” case. Furthermore, the author explores some of the reasons why analysts have not underlined this particular form of repetition, which is above all re-enacted in the transference-countertransference play with patients who have experienced in their past a cumulative trauma, suggesting in conclusion the curative factors in this kind of treatment.

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