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Roth, D. (1975). Transparency and the Suicide Potential: A Reply to the Discussion by Olivier Flournoy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 56:255-257.

(1975). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 56:255-257

Transparency and the Suicide Potential: A Reply to the Discussion by Olivier Flournoy Related Papers

David Roth

Olivier Flournoy's (1974) insightful discussion on the instability of the parameter of transparency and the critical opportunity it represents in the course of the analytic process illuminates the main feature of the paper (Roth & Blatt, 1974a).

In physical systems an unstable or neutral equilibrium holds out a promise of change to a new dynamic equilibrium or degeneration to greater instability. The spatio-temporal correlates of this pattern during the development of the transference studied in analyses of patients in my own practice and those of other analysts not familiar with these hypotheses over the last decade have led to findings which will be briefly described as applied to the special instance of the crucial development of the representation of transparency. The basic static categories of the general parameters are described with their Rorschach substantiation in another article (Roth & Blatt, 1974b).

The representation of transparency can dynamically eventuate into opaqueness, depth or volume constancy leading to temporal or self constancy or it can deteriorate into polar alternation and degenerating volumes with loss of durational or temporal constancy which characterizes severely paranoid and depressive reactions respectively. The three dimensional representation of volume enclosures does not characterize the stable depressive position as referred to by Dr Flournoy, but signals the ongoing progression of these representations in the milder clinical reactive depressions or temporary negative therapeutic reactions associated with the resolution of the oedipal conflict and resignation of phallic omnipotence.

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