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Ferro, A. Meregnani, A. (1994). Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992: The Emotional Atmosphere and Affects. Dina Vallino Macciò. Pp. 616-637.. Psychoanal Q., 63:605.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992: The Emotional Atmosphere and Affects. Dina Vallino Macciò. Pp. 616-637.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:605

Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992: The Emotional Atmosphere and Affects. Dina Vallino Macciò. Pp. 616-637.

Antonino Ferro and Anna Meregnani

During analysis the common denominator of certain impasses seems to be the fact that the analyst's interpretations appear to be badly timed. In such conditions, emotional contact with the patient can be established for the first time, or reestablished, by working on the emotional atmosphere of the session, which is always present, even though for the most part it goes unnoticed and is ignored. By emotional atmosphere the author means the analyst's subjective impressions unattributable to verbal messages passed on by the patient—all those indefinite qualities which form a sort of halo. These structureless, nonverbal forms of communication initially cannot be employed for the purpose of interpretation, but inform the analyst about the emotional temperature of the couple. Clinical examples are given to show how primary mental processes appear as emotional states which must be shared by the analyst long before they can be talked about.

The synthesis of the emotional experience in an analysis begins with the analyst being forced to give up his or her hermeneutic function, to slow down the rhythm of his or her understanding, in order to enable the patient to tackle the specific difficulty of thinking the unthinkable—a process that can give birth to something that has never before existed. The author's conclusion is that in a shared emotional field, mental levels can develop which enable patients to begin experiencing affect and pain in an intermittent way. Patients are able to do so fully only when they are sure they can stand on their own.

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Article Citation

Ferro, A. and Meregnani, A. (1994). Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992. Psychoanal. Q., 63:605

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