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Riolo, F. (2007). Psychoanalytic Transformations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 88(6):1375-1389.

(2007). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 88(6):1375-1389

Psychoanalytic Transformations Language Translation

Fernando Riolo

The author describes how Bion took Freud's conception of dreams as a form of thought and used it as the basis of his theory of transformations. Bion developed an expanded theory of ‘dream thought’, understood as a process of selection and transformation of sensory and emotional experiences. In this theory, the work of analysis is in turn conceived as a process not only of deciphering symbols, of revealing already existing unconscious meanings, but also of symbol production— of a process for generating thoughts and conferring meaning on experiences that have never been conscious and never been repressed because they have never been ‘thought’. Analysis, in its specific operational sense, becomes a system of transformation whereby unconscious somatopsychic processes acquire the conditions for representability and become capable of translation into thoughts, words and interpretations. The rules of transformation applied by the patient in his representations and those applied by the analyst in his interpretations have the same importance for the analytic process as those described by Freud for the process of dreaming. The author discusses the broad categories of transformation adduced by Bion (rigid motion, projective, and in hallucinosis) and introduces some further distinctions within them.

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