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Flournoy, O. (1974). A Discussion of David Roth's and Sidney Blatt's Paper 'Spatial Representations of Transparency and the Suicide Potential'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:295-296.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:295-296

A Discussion of David Roth's and Sidney Blatt's Paper 'Spatial Representations of Transparency and the Suicide Potential' Related Papers

Olivier Flournoy

The time allotted to me being so brief, I will have to limit myself to comments on three aspects of the very interesting paper by Dr Roth and Dr Blatt (this issue) and to a short clinical contribution.

To begin with, I would like to say a few words concerning the problem of instability in general and the particular instability of the spatiotemporal structures which reveals itself through the appearance of transparency phenomena. I want to emphasize its aspect as an aim for the treatment, a tactical aim, i.e. something to be hoped for but which sometimes only happens towards the end of a long analysis. It is indeed this instability which will permit the structural modification (in this instance the depth and tridimensional structures, from which the initial transference emanates) thus allowing the modification of the transference equilibrium towards a new and more satisfying one.

It is also this instability which will transmit, as indicated by the work of Drs Roth and Blatt, an anxiety signal to the analyst. The latter will then become particularly attentive, knowing the analysis to be at a crucial point, 'on the razor's edge' so to speak, and that it can evolve either towards suicidal depression or, on the contrary, towards a welcome change. Transparency phenomena indicate that there is a self-object confusion accompanied by a defusion of the instincts and that there is consequently a possibility of a new distribution of the instinctual investments.

At this point I would like to draw your attention to a problem of terminology, even though my mother tongue is French.

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