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Fain, M. (2018). Mentalization and passivity. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 99(2):479-484.

(2018). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 99(2):479-484

Mentalization and passivity

Michel Fain

The Report presented in 1962 at the Congress of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society (SPP), under the title Aspect fonctionnel de la vie onirique [The functional aspect of oneiric life] by Christian David and myself, included a project aimed at creating surprise. For some time already, Pierre Marty, Michel de M’Uzan, Christian David and myself had been working together on the problems raised by psychosomatics. In this connection, the name of the École psychosomatique de Paris [Paris School of Psychosomatics] was given to us. In other words, the reporters knew that, following their text, the intervention of Michel de M’Uzan and Pierre Marty would surprise the public and pose an unexpected problem: whilst the text of the Report had sought to clarify the mechanisms of the dream-work and their effectiveness as guardians of sleep, the paper presented by Marty and de M’Uzan signalled the existence of a form of mental activity negating the efficacy of oneiric hallucination. However, this mental activity—la pensée opératoire to call it by its name—was characterized by its close relationship with reality and the concrete task that the latter required. The task in question is, moreover, only envisaged in terms of its effectiveness, and not in terms of the personal history of the subject who is interested in the development of his own thought processes.

During this congress, the discussion did not consider the collusion that existed between the Report and the paper by Marty and de M’Uzan, in spite of the fact that everyone knew about the relations that existed between the members of the École de Paris.

[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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