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Dupont, M.A. (1984). On Primary Communication. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:303-311.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:303-311

On Primary Communication

Marco Antonio Dupont


In this paper some phenomena of nonverbal communication are studied within the psychoanalytic context of transference-countertransference, under the heading of 'Primary Communication'. These phenomena have traditionally been considered from an extra-analytical viewpoint as belonging to the domain of telepathy.

Two examples belonging to the field of transference-countertransference and a third involving dream thoughts illustrate the mental processes held here as giving rise to Primary Communication. In the case of the patient-transmitter, these are the following: the presence of active psychotic areas of the personality, a tendency towards fusion with the object and the idealization of it, and an overflooding of persecutory anxieties. In the case of the analyst-receiver, or, in the third example, the receiving object, they consist of a readiness to receive and contain the subject, and a relatively regressive disposition.

Primary communication is defined as a regressive type of communication made possible by projective identification. It coincides with a process of regression within the subjectobject bond, and is established in accordance with the

container-content model and 'reverie' function which characterize the mother–baby bond.

On a parallel with the above definition, Primary Communication is to be considered within the framework of the theory of language development as meta-language, deep language, deep grammar or musical language, effectively preceding the development of symbolic-verbal and lexicographical language.

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