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Ithier, B. (2016). The Arms of the Chimeras. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):451-478.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):451-478

Contemporary Conversations

The Arms of the Chimeras Related Papers

Béatrice Ithier

(Accepted for publication 5 June 2015)

This article seeks to compare the approach developed in 1974 by Michel de M'Uzan to the concept of the ‘chimera’ with Thomas Ogden's (1995, 2005) reflections on ‘the analytic third’. This comparison shows that in spite of the different theoretical approaches, unconscious to unconscious communication - a subject of interest in contemporary psychoanalytic research - makes it possible to grasp the intersubjective data deployed in the field of the session. After reviewing M. de M'Uzan's conception of the ‘chimera’ - a product of the unconsciouses of patient and analyst alike, and which emerges during a process of depersonalization in the analyst - the author proposes her hypothesis of the chimera as a particular intersubjective third whose creation, in a hallucinatory state, makes it possible to gain access to the bodily and emotional basis of the trauma. The author describes the chimera as a mental ‘squiggle’ between the two members of the pair which finds expression in different forms; further, she considers that the chimera that seizes the analyst is underpinned by the unconscious affinities of traumatic zones in both protagonists, which permit the grounding, configuration and sharing of the territories of suffering, as apprehended in this paper.

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