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Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: To Identify, To Be Identified, To Identify Oneself. Alain de Mijolla. Pp. 491-508.. Psychoanal Q., 59:165.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: To Identify, To Be Identified, To Identify Oneself. Alain de Mijolla. Pp. 491-508.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:165

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: To Identify, To Be Identified, To Identify Oneself. Alain de Mijolla. Pp. 491-508.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

The complexity of the notion of identification is attested to by the various grammatical voices—active, passive, and reflexive—of the verb "to identify," both in French and in German. Various psychoanalytic theorists have emphasized one or another of these voices of the verb. It is a mistake, however, to claim that these various voices can be isolated. We have made many theoretical advances concerning identification, but they have led some analysts to speak of the various psychic structures as if the structures were capable of identifications. Some analytic accounts of treatment deal rather facilely with the notion of identification. Analysts cannot limit themselves to these three voices (or interpretations) of identification, but must include such difficult concepts as primary identification, presymbolic identification, and Lacan's notion of mirror identification. There is much that remains fluid and unfinished concerning the concept of identification. The discovery of an identification with such and such a person in analysis comes in phases. First, there is recognition of the imitative behavior, and only later, after considerable analytic work, does the identification come to be treated as an "identification screen," a dynamic formulation from which unconscious fantasies of identification can be sorted out. Mijolla emphasizes that when one speaks of identifications in psychoanalysis, it is with this implicit reference to the possibility of interpreting them, along with the revival of past identifications.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 59:165

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