Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To download the bibliographic list of all PEP-Web content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Did you know that you can download a bibliography of all content available on PEP Web to import to Endnote, Refer, or other bibliography manager? Just click on the link found at the bottom of the webpage. You can import into any UTF-8 (Unicode) compatible software which can import data in “Refer” format. You can get a free trial of one such program, Endnote, by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Speziale-Bagliacca, R. (1991). The Capacity to Contain: Notes on its Function in Psychic Change. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 72:27-33.

(1991). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 72:27-33

The Capacity to Contain: Notes on its Function in Psychic Change

Roberto Speziale-Bagliacca

Solo recuerdo la emoción de las cosas,
y se me olvida todo lo demás.
Muchas son las lagunas de mi memoria.

[I remember only the emotion of things,
And I forget everything else.
Many are the gaps in my memory.]
(Antonio Machado)

Although it has been stated that the 'main work' of the analyst in promoting psychic change in the patient within the analytical process lies in his commitment to '"contain" the infantile aspects of the mind' (Meltzer, 1967), I believe that the great majority of psychoanalysts today would still agree with the thesis which united clinicians as diverse as Eissler and Rosenfeld in the Panel of the 20th IPA Congress, held in Paris in 1957, to the effect that the technique of psychoanalysis was 'one in which interpretation remains the exclusive or leading or prevailing tool' (Eissler, 1958).

At that time there was certainly a great deal of discussion on the rule of abstinence, parameters and pseudo-parameters, but Rosenfeld (1987) could still maintain in his posthumously published work: 'the primary means by which the analyst achieves [his] aims is by precise verbal interpretation'. However, Rosenfeld himself, summarizing the views he held throughout his life, explains in other chapters how fundamental the preparatory work of containing is.

In my opinion, it may be misleading to regard the containing capacity of the analyst's 'mind' as a factor of transformation unless it is made clear that the container function and interpretation constitute a single system, so that, if either of these two factors is insufficient, psychic change will be compromised or incomplete (Speziale-Bagliacca, 1982), (1988).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.