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Masina, L. (2018). At the roots of intimacy. IJP Open, 5:66.

(2018). IJP Open, 5:66

At the roots of intimacy

Luisa Masina

This article addresses situations of intimacy in the context of the analytic relationship which are mostly characterized by non-verbal forms of communication. I have imagined them as being the virtuous interaction between two living organisms whose roots come closer and closer to one another, to the point of intertwining and mutually favoring growth. These roots are largely unconscious or preconscious and are made up of the rich collection of experiences, fantasies, memories, dreams of each of the couple’s members and which, as the analytic relationship progresses, move into a situation of proximity and compatibility. A combination of complementary constituents becomes clear; representatives, for example, of traumatic experiences which the analyst has been able to work through and which create a facilitating environment, or perhaps of nourishing experiences which carry out the same functions as do the beneficial substances released by a plant’s roots, able as they are to furnish protection to a neighboring plant. Intimacy takes on a function of protection and relief - but not as anesthetic - favoring the ability to think and to integrate experiences. To illustrate all this I report, references taken from psychoanalytic literature, a clinical example, a cinematographic scene, and a literary passage.

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