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Civitarese, G. (2015). Transformations in Hallucinosis and the Receptivity of the Analyst. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(4):1091-1116.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(4):1091-1116

Contemporary Conversations

Transformations in Hallucinosis and the Receptivity of the Analyst Related Papers Language Translation

Giuseppe Civitarese

(Accepted for publication 13 May 2014)

Bion describes transformation in hallucinosis (TH) as a psychic defence present in elusive psychotic scenarios in which there is a total adherence to concrete reality: as the hallucinatory activity which physiologically infiltrates perception and allows us to know reality, setting it off against a background of familiarity; and then, surprisingly, as the ideal state of mind towards which the analyst has to move in order to intuit the facts of the analysis. When hallucinosis is followed by ‘awakening’, the analyst gains understanding from the experience and goes through a transformation that will inevitably be transmitted to the analytic field and to the patient. In this paper I illustrate Bion's concept and underline its eminently intersubjective nature. Then I differentiate it from two other technical devices: reverie, which unlike hallucinosis does not imply the persistence of a feeling of the real, and Ferro's transformation in dreaming, i.e. purposeful listening to everything that is said in the analysis as if it were the telling of a dream. Finally, I try to demonstrate the practical utility of the concept of transformation in hallucinosis in order to read the complex dynamics of a clinical vignette. Though not well known (only two references in English in the PEP archive), TH proves to be remarkably versatile and productive for thinking about psychoanalytic theory, technique and clinical work.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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