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Chiarandini, I.C. (1996). Revista de Psicoanálisis. (Argentina) Special International Issue, 1993: Repetition.. Psychoanal Q., 65:848-853.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revista de Psicoanálisis. (Argentina) Special International Issue, 1993: Repetition.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:848-853

Revista de Psicoanálisis. (Argentina) Special International Issue, 1993: Repetition.

Irene Cairo Chiarandini

The concept of structure is present throughout Freud's work and is ubiquitous in contemporary psychoanalytic thinking, from Klein's internal objects to Sandler's representational world, through Winnicott, Kernberg, and Bollas. According to Aslan, it is structures that repeat and are repeated since it is structures that signify, codify, perceive, and respond. We work with the repetition of structures, not with the fate neuroses. The definitions of structure basically follow two approaches: In one, structure is viewed as a set of functions, a set of psychical processes that are stable and permanent. This is true both for Lagache and for Pulver. Structure refers to organized contents that fill a specific function. In the other approach structure is an inference from observable processes.

For Lagache, the basic difference between the topographical and the structural model is the role given to intersubjective relations in the process of structuralization of the personality through the process of identification. The author adds: internalization and externalization are the processes that give a structure to the internal world. There are primary and secondary structuring identifications and processes of introjection. It is the relative constancy of functioning that produces the effect of repetition. Each history is registered in a unique psychic structure.

Three clinical examples illustrate how the author sees the relation between structure and repetition. It is impossible to suppress structural repetition; what we aim for is modification of those structures that repeat: the deformed ego, the excessively demanding superego, the psychopathology. This is what we deem specifically psychoanalytic: it is what we mean by structural change.

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Article Citation

Chiarandini, I.C. (1996). Revista de Psicoanálisis.. Psychoanal. Q., 65:848-853

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