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Cavalli, A. (2011). On Receiving What Has Gone Astray, on Finding What Has Got Lost. J. Anal. Psychol., 56(1):1-13.

(2011). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56(1):1-13


On Receiving What Has Gone Astray, on Finding What Has Got Lost

Alessandra Cavalli, M.A., Ph.D.

Disturbing emotions that act as bodily cryptograms waiting to be deciphered are currently understood as intra-psychic trauma. The author briefly discusses Fordham's concepts of deintegration and primitive identity, as well as early patterns of mother-infant attunement to describe how the empathic capacity of the analyst is dramatically challenged in helping patients to give birth to unbearable emotions that remain an undifferentiated entity. Referring to Ogden's understanding of the mechanism of projective identification, the author will explore how unconscious mental processes in the analyst and the patient can work at re-activating failures in the deintegrative process. Clinical material is presented to show how unconscious psychic events that affect the patient but cannot be known consciously can be born into mind by the analytic couple.

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