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Ferro, A. Meregnani, A. (1994). Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992: The Oscillation of MeaningsAffects in the Analytic Couple at Work. Michele Bezoari and Antonino Ferro. Pp. 380-403.. Psychoanal Q., 63:605-606.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992: The Oscillation of MeaningsAffects in the Analytic Couple at Work. Michele Bezoari and Antonino Ferro. Pp. 380-403.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:605-606

Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992: The Oscillation of MeaningsAffects in the Analytic Couple at Work. Michele Bezoari and Antonino Ferro. Pp. 380-403.

Antonino Ferro and Anna Meregnani

This paper deals with "affects" and "impasse situations," topics of an analysts' study group at the Milan Institute. The authors present clinical material to describe how scattered and nameless emotions can be included in a shared space and transformed into an experience which one can then begin to tell oneself about. As to impasse situations, the analyst seems to be faced with a conflict between the hermeneutic function and affective participation, between saying something to the patient and being close to him or her.

The authors believe that emotional involvement and the giving of meaning should be considered two inseparable aspects of the analytic function during all periods of

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an analysis. The oscillatory movement, or shift in emphasis from one of these aspects to the other, will depend on the specific conditions of the bipersonal field that is established between analyst and patient. Experience has shown the authors that certain interpretations tend to block the process of transformation instead of encouraging it. Such interpretations are the "strong" interpretations, whereby the analyst expounds some "truth" in a very assertive way and ascribes, for instance, a certain transferential meaning to one of the patient's current experiences. The authors have learned to value ever more highly certain verbal comments by the analyst, conveying in a narrative rather than assertive form configurations of meaning which are still very incomplete. These comments are open to further contributions from the patient and respect the characters and scenes to which the patient has given life in the session through his or her own words. The analyst is not supposed to opt on principle for "strong" or "weak" interpretations, but should try to contribute to the dialogue in a way which is the most conducive to its further development. At the same time, the analyst must maintain an oscillatory equilibrium between meaning and affect, avoiding the opposite risks of intellectualistic sterility and paralyzing emotional impasse. The fruit of this work can be seen when the analyst and patient together manage to construct a new narrative united around the incomplete nucleus of meanings and the emotional elements that were previously dispersed, so that they can be seen to belong to an atmosphere in which both patient and analyst are immersed. This common experience brings about further transformation, and gradually more clearly definable affects and meaning emerge, in which both analyst and patient can recognize themselves. The patient's personal history and internal objects, upon coming to life in the context of the analytic relationship, acquire a new, specific individuality of their own.

The authors conclude by saying that successful analytic interpretation shows the patient that someone is willing to share new affective experiences with him or her, so that through the encounter with another mind, emotions which had never been shared before can be experienced and thought.

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Article Citation

Ferro, A. and Meregnani, A. (1994). Rivista Di Psicoanalisi. XXXVII, 1991; XXXVIII, 1992. Psychoanal. Q., 63:605-606

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