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Quartier-Frings, F. (2001). René Diatkine (1918-1997). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(1):181-182.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(1):181-182

René Diatkine (1918-1997)

Florence Quartier-Frings

In the course of his life, René Diatkine devoted himself to the advancement of psychoanalysis, to broadening the scope of clinical work and asking himself (and us) uncompromising questions about the process of change that can be observed in different ways in the patient and the analyst. Throughout the decades of his active live, he was anxious to maintain his psychoanalytic activity with both adult patients and children, while, at the same time, remaining closely in touch with institutional psychiatric realities. This is what led him to place particular emphasis on the rigour necessary for analytic work; i.e. that it is incumbent on the analyst to distinguish between the levels of pure construction, (in which, with adult patients, he gets a hypothetical idea of their childhood as it was experienced, but not as it was) and the picture emerging from reflections based on the direct observation of the young infant, the baby or the child, which differs again from that which emerges from child psychoanalysis. Diatkine was an attentive analyst whose approach to interpretation was based on an original conception of countertransference and the object. His thinking included cultural references, both musical and literary, and he developed a style of interpretation that carried great emotive power and was expressed in terms that resonated as closely as possible with the patient's preconscious associations. He was mainly concerned to bring about economic modifications which were likely to enable the subject to re-establish a degree of coherence in his internal investments, with the aim of lowering the tension connected with psychical unpleasure.

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