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Ferro, A. (2003). Marcella: The Transition from Explosive Sensoriality to the Ability to Think. Psychoanal Q., 72(1):183-200.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(1):183-200

Marcella: The Transition from Explosive Sensoriality to the Ability to Think

Antonino Ferro, M.D.

The author discusses an analytic case in which it was necessary to first address the patient's need for containment of her protoemotions—her sensoriality—before the analysis could proceed along more standard lines, with interpretation of the transference, work on displacement and aspects of her childhood history, and so forth. Prior to treatment, the patient had resorted to a sort of affective autism in order not to experience dangerously overwhelming emotions, and her emotional lethargy in sessions at first engendered similar feelings in the analyst, making progress impossible until a container was established for her projective identifications.

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