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Guignard, F. (2015). Commentary on “Transformations in Hallucinosis and the Receptivity of the Analyst” by Civitarese. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(4):1117-1124.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(4):1117-1124

Commentary on “Transformations in Hallucinosis and the Receptivity of the Analyst” by Civitarese Related Papers Language Translation

Florence Guignard


A psychoanalyst and a member of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, Giuseppe Civitarese is among the contemporary authors who have contributed to the dissemination and the exegesis of the work of one of psychoanalysis's greatest thinkers: W. R. Bion (1897-1979).

The richness of the various movements within Italian psychoanalysis is a well-known fact, a tradition rooted in a solid Freudian, Kleinian and Bionian culture, taught by the best international representatives of the past generations, thriving on the very broad range of available translations featuring authors from around the world and, in the case of many of its members, inspired by the resolutely contemporary linguistic trend put forward by the great Umberto Eco.

In particular, Civitarese worked with Antonino Ferro whose theoretical and clinical work on the role of narrativity (Eco) and the ‘capacity for reverie’ (Bion) in the psychoanalyst's functioning in the context of the psychoanalytic session led to considerable advances in analytic technique.

In this new contribution to the IJP, Civitarese furthers his research on the components of the analytic ‘intuit’ in Bion's modelization and, following Riolo (2011), examines the phenomenon of hallucinosis the various facets of which were explored by Bion between 1967 and 1970.

We know the ease with which Bion conceptualizes psychotic mechanisms and underscores their use in ‘normal’ psychic functioning - which Civitarese refers to as ‘physiological’ here. In the present context, the ‘functioning in hallucinosis’ is at issue, a functioning tackled by Bion as early as 1958 in his first essay on hallucination and later developed in 1967 in his study of the transformations of the ‘psychic fact’ in cases of schizophrenia.

Bion accounts for three types of possible transformation of sensory elements - β elements - according to the subject's mode of functioning:

ο    transformations in rigid motion (TRM)

ο    transformations in projection (TP)

ο    transformations in hallucinosis (TH).

[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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