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Abella, A. (2016). Comments on Sandler, P.C. (2015). Commentary on “Transformations in Hallucinosis and the Receptivity of the Analyst” by Civitarese. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(4):1143-1144.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(4):1143-1144

Comments on Sandler, P.C. (2015). Commentary on “Transformations in Hallucinosis and the Receptivity of the Analyst” by Civitarese

Adela Abella

Dear Editors,

P.C. Sandler's comments on Giuseppe Civitarese's paper ‘Transformations in hallucinosis and the receptivity of the analyst’ raise some questions concerning the scope of discussions among psychoanalysts and the conditions in which they can be fruitful. What is the aim of our debates? Do we intend to grasp the specific understanding and sensitivity of a particular colleague on a certain issue? This would imply that we are willing to listen not only to our patients but also to our colleagues and be ready to learn something from them. Are we to defend a certain orthodoxy, which is irremediably our orthodoxy as opposed to the other's orthodoxy? In this last case the risk is, as Bion (1965, p. 37) pointed out, to pervert the communication of knowledge into propaganda. Do we think that there are definitely established truths in psychoanalysis or can we really accept the troubling idea that different legitimate points of view exist which can be put to discussion? This would demand the humility to consider the possibility that our beloved and idealized truths are not universally shared and maybe even that they are not as true as we would like.

This thorny problem is still more acute with Bion. As it has been often said, there is not one Bion but several. Amongst the Bions I appreciate there is the one that commented on the way we should read papers in order to avoid a defensive reading: “Freud's papers should be read and forgotten: only in this way is it possible to produce the conditions in which, when it is next read, it can stimulate the evolution of further development” (1967, p.

[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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