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Riolo, F. (2009). Breakthrough. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 18(2):71-76.

(2009). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 18(2):71-76

Original Articles


Fernando Riolo

Translated by:
Isabella Negri

Bion's investigation focused on the clinically observable field of psychoanalysis and a description of its rules of transformations. Analytic observation has as its objective the discovery of connections and objects not previously observed, and therefore it necessitates breaking pre-existing meaning configurations. The discovery of a new meaning requires not only integration, but also a shift toward disintegration. Rupturing the protection of common sense, rationality, and consensus entails “a catastrophic impact with the true experience of the self,” and it is therefore obstructed by the individual and by the group, who consider it dangerous for their own survival. And not wrongfully so. We cannot know in advance, Bion affirms, if that impact will involve a break-up, a breakdown or a breakthrough — a disturbing perspective that is replete with consequences for theory and technique.

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