The state of non-integration in the early mind

Introduction
D. Winnicott (1974) stated a difference between a non-integration state of mind and a disintegration  one. In the first stage there is no  difference between the subject and the object, but a state of fusion and non-differentiation. In the latter there was a differentiation, but the subject regress back in a non-integration state of mind as a defensive manoeuvre in order to survive.
The psychotic clients live in this state of non-integration, and the symptoms that they experience, like hallucinations, voices, detachment from the world, absence of time, belongs to the state of mind of a child of six months old before the process of separation-individuation stated from M. Maheler (1971).
E. Gaddini (1992) in his writings tries to develop the meta-psychological theory in a further way and he stated a difference between imitation (psycho-sensorial area) and introjection (psycho-oral area). In the first one the baby perceives the external world with a modification of his body. The latter one occurs only when a difference is extablished between the subject and the object (usually the mother) and the baby can put inside himself stuffs beacuase there is an internal world separated from an external one.
Moreover D. Winnicott (1971) stated a difference between a male and a female pure elements. In the pure female element there is no space for the libido because there is no differnce between the baby and the mother, the baby is the breast. In the male one, with the intervention of the figure of the father, the baby starts to differentiate himself from his mother. The world is perceived more objectively and the functions of time and memory are in progress.
I think that these differences are important in the comprehension of a non-integrated state of mind in psychotic clients. This is the continuity with a foetus experiences of a limited space through the womb and the placenta, and this state continues to exist after the birth till the psychological born around six – eight months of age. If we have in mind these ideas when we deal with this kind of clients, I think, would be more simple to understand them and to do not be angry with them.
For example, in the community therapy where I work, the symptoms of these clients, like untideness of the room, sleep roughly in the street, do not take care of physical patologies, reflect a non-integrated state of mind due to a disfunctional relationship with the mother at the beginning of their life.

Bibliography
Winnicott D. (1971). Play and Reality, Routledge.
Mahler, S. and Pine, M.M. and F., Bergman, A. (1973). The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant, New York: Basic Books.
Gaddini E. (1992). A psychoanalytic theory of infantile experience, Routledge.

The setting as a womb

Working in a psychoanalytic way allows the patient to regress to a dependency condition and in order to facilitate that, I think, that it is important to establish a contained setting. I give more importance to the frame than to the transference and for me the room represents for the patient the womb.
It is not just how we arrange the space, but also how we set up a beginning and an ending and we give a continuity to this. I consider a session as a sensation process and keeping in mind the link of these different experiences gives to the patients the possibility to perceive and to think and feel.
At the beginning of life,with the physical birth of the child, the mother keeps a continuity with the embrional existence till the psychological birth of the child and the realisation of his/her separation from the mother. This development process creates a sense of containment
The formation of the self with a border between the inside and the outside represented by the skin is the first step to recreate the function of the womb in the intrauterine life and the function of the mother in the extrauterine one.
The acquisition of the language, walking and breathing is the ultimate step in the accomplishemt of the development process and to open up to an individual existence.
The therapy goes in the opposite direction of the development process and for this reason it is important to recreate all the condition to allow the process of regression.
When the child draws a circle at two year of age this is the first representation of himself, an inside separate from an outside world, where he can picture on it the mouth, and after the eyes, the noise and the ears.
In the same way our setting represents this round shape figure where we welcome the patient and we facilitate the regression from an independent to a dependent condition free from conflicts as the dyad mother-child at the beginning of life.
In this space and time of the sessions we have the privilege to observe the dynamics of the patient and of our self and making sense in what it was till than moment not understandable.
An important role has in this process the presence of a third person, that in the case of the therapy is the supervisor or the analyst, and in the case of the child mother dyad is the presence of the father, who support the mother and pull the child out of the dependency from the mother.

The five stones game

Play with five stones is a memory of my childhood. Take five stones that can fit in your hand, throw them on the floor, pick one, throw it on the air and pick a stone at once four times;
now the stones are back in the hand another game but two at time twice;
three and one and all four at once. It is a solitary game, but you can play with others at the same time.
I remembered this game reading on the sea side this summer the book of Christopher Bollas The Evocative object world. Chapter 4 “The fourth object and beyond” he talks about a numerology from 1 to 5. One individual + another individual = three, the creativity (the child). Four represents the family, that from my point of view is a circle that includes the two single circles of the two individuals (the couple). Five is the external society.
I moved my head and right on the direction of the cost I saw five big stones on it, as a representation of the game that I had played when I was a child.
Suddenly, came to my mind where these stones were, on another big stones that it is the planet earth. The environment is for me the number six of the sequence of numbers and it represents the place where all that is possible. For the child the first environment is the body of the mother.
At the beginning of life this is what we are and where we came from. We come from the sea, incorporated on the womb as a way to safe it from the catastrophe of his departure.
A catastrophe that represents with the weaning process or psychological birth with the recognition (sun-cathexis) of the mother or caregiver as different and separated.
The mind at the beginning is a collective one (group mind) where all the pulsions are inside to keep the elements together and all the aggression is outside to protect it from dangers.
The oro-gastric trait assures feeding and disposal processes that sustains the physical grow and the installation of psychics one as imitation of the body functions.
At the beginning the de-cathexis of the aggression towards the external world allows the cathexis of the internal objects. These two way of functioning are present simultaneously, one with the internal objects created and all the introjection and projection functioning with the recognition of the object separated from the self and out of the omnipotence control. On the other end a more primitive way of functioning of the mind is at the same time in progress. In this case there is any distinction with the object and then any pulsion, The discharge of the energy occurs through actions and muscular movements, sensations and the first more organized perceptions.
Then two kind of transference: infant-mother (maternal) psycho-sensorial (imitative)
and the well known paternal, oral with intojections and projections and the creation of an internal world. It is the difference between repeating with actions or remembering and then working through. The acme of this development is the use of an object, where an individual recognizes the separateness of the external object, introjects it internally, where he can hate the person inside himself, but the survival of the outside object is the confirmation that the object is outside the omnipotent control of the subject. This other way of functioning is pre-verbal and we don’t have any model of the functioning of the mind, also because we use words to describe something that came before it. The group mind is made by different sensations from inside and outside the body, the first border is represented by the family who delimitates the generative couple from the society.
The dyad infant-mother is a continuation of the foetus states till the ropture of it and the establishment of the skin as first border of the individual.
At one year with the enphasis on talking, walking and breathing there is a first autonomous attempt to move away from it, and it will take another year to create a representation of the self with the round figure closed with the mouth and the eyes on it.
Another parallel process is in place the differentiation of the father figure from the mother, at the beginning a composed figure that with the help of the development of the perceptive systems become differentiate in two individuals distinct and separated that allows the self recognition based on two landmark points with the discovery of the space and time.
I feel that I have not better words to describe these processes.

Coming to the world

The world for the ancient greek was made by five elemens: air, water, earth, fire and cosmo, represented by five geometric figures that are the basic element of it.
The physical birth of a baby involves radical changes from the intrauterine and physiological function, the passage to the pulmonary respiration, the fiding through the mouth and the incostant temperature.
This environment is kept constant by the mother, or the care giver, and for the first two months after birth there is a continuity  of the previous way of existence, the mother for the baby is the earth, the island into the sea.
Soon a new function emerges from the body, a moto-sensorial activity imitates the body function of fullness/emptyness of the stomach, bladder or mouth. The are just two states, on/off, regulated by the caring in keeping the continuity with the previous state and a sense of illusion that this event never occurred.
At two month the baby could expereince the first psychosomatic illness, and not before, called rumination or mericism where in a state of cahotic continuity the baby is able to imitate the feeding process and brings the milk up in his mouth with mortal consequences and just an intervention of a substitution of the mother can resolve it.
The function of the oro-gastric trait assures the important role of introducing an element of growing and in this state there is any libidinal force in relation to the object mother because she is not separeted. The sensoriality is the predominant way of functioning, without perception (a-perception). All the aggression in outward to protect the baby and all the libido is inward to keep the cohesion of the total self.
Slowly a process of de-cathexis of the aggression from outside, in a facilitating environment, allows the cathexis of the libido from the inside. The physical incorporation becomes an introjection and the a projection at 6-8 months with the psychological birth and the recognition of the object separated. The skin assumes the role of border between an inside and an outside, a catastrophe occurs and the total self goes in pieces and fragments. Another psycho-somatic dated illness could take place, the dermatitis as a result of a not well establish barrier and a rupture of it, in order to re-establish to lost contact with the mother.
Only at this moment the sensorial discontinuity is organized in the five different way of perceiving the external world: sight, tact, taste, smell and eraing.
A new way of functioning operates now, that is not just emptiness/fulnessa and the correlate anxiety of lost of the toal self in order to survive.
Now there are two anxiety, an anxiety of integration and an anxiety of non-integration, the mind starts to pulse like an hart. There is now a correlation between aggression and libido, a wave, a fluctuation, a bi-dimensional way of working.
There is still way to go, now there is an enbrionic internal object inside the self and at one year another important function emerges, talking (breathing)/walking and the possible psychosomatic illness of this period is the asthma. Now the child starts to distantiate him/herself from the object (internally and externally). Walking represents in a motor way the internal process of using words and symbolize. The mind starts to be three-dimensional and the original internal object a process of meiosis and another object emerges from it. Now we have two indistinct internal objects, but the new one, the father, is in a way the first internal. Between the first and the second year of life the primal scene and all the phantasies associated allows the distinction of them and the representation of the relationship between them, the function of procreation.
We can represent that with a the beginning a sign I, the appearance of a second one II and the conjunction of them X. These three elements are contained inside a circle figure, O, the representation of the self. It is just this figure that the child is able drawing at two years of age coming out from a squiggle. S/he represents inside it the mouth, and after the eyes, the nose, the ears, and four sticks for the limbs (two hands and two legs).
We don’t have just an hand with five fingers on it, but two hands and legs, two hemispheres and a process of lateralization and the link between them.

The heart and the blood

The mind is all over the body, not just located on the head and at the birth the baby has a physiological way of functioning.
If we take into account PINOCCHIO fairy tell the baby is made of wood by his father and with the good attentions of the mother he becomes made of flesh and blood.
The wood’s boby with the liquid milk, like a tree, becomes a soft organism that can take in solid food.
In a way the blood combines all the elements: the air transported on it, the water because it is liquid, the fire because it is warm and the earth represented by the iron where the air is fixated to be transported.
The heart is the organ that pulses all the time the blood around the body and the beat of it gives the rythmes of life.
When Pinocchio lies his nose is growing, showing the fact that he is not growing towards a child of flesh and blood.
This primordial state is common to everyone and we forget it and it is difficult to come back. We can see it in pathological autistic children where the baby was not able to develop towards a more mature and less dependant existence.
We are not in the field of evolute way of functioning with introductions/projections and even more advance identifications, but an imitation organization where the body functions are mirrored by the mind, far away from perceptions, thoughts and emotions.
The sensations are the row elements and are discontinued, the mother gives the illusion of continuity from the physical event of birth till the psychological birth and the separation of the baby from her with the weaning process, the transition from the liquid nourishment to the solid one.
The two ways of functioning coexist for the rest of our life and the integration (anfimissi) allows the very mature identification with the parents and the position of the individual in society.
We can picture that with a diagram on the horizontal axe the time and on the vertical one two elements: aggression and libido. At birth the libido is null and the aggression high. With the time passing we have two curves: the decrease of aggression (decathexis) and the increase of libido (cathexis), at six month the two curves intersects and it is at that point that the instinctual life starts, not before.
It is the libido that follows the aggression and not the contrary.
There is still a lot to understand on these primitive mechanisms that are the foundations of more mature ones. This is the core of the development process and it is difficult to access the secret of the mind.
Going back to Pinocchio, the puppet is taken from the cat and the wolf to plant some coins in order to get some trees that will produce it. The cat and the wolf will stole the money, but the fantasy is that it is not necessary to work to make money.
Instead to go to school he ends it up on the funfair with mangiafuoco (eat fire), not able to grow and learn and deprived of his heater.
The father Geppetto, looking for Pinocchio, is eaten by a whale where he can find him and take back to the fairy godmother and becomes a child. The whale represents the cradle where the baby is kept as in the whomb. Only coming out of it he becomes a child able to go to school and integrated in the wider society, outside the family.

Herophlic Oath

We Start today a journey into the mind and in doing that we use ours couches as a time machine. We can go in the past or in the future of ourselves or of human civilization.
Psychoanalysis is the science of development and it was discovered by Freud who went back to the beginning of life to understand how the mind works.
After him Klein went even further, but she applied the same way of thinking to a more primitive evolution, retro-dating the Oedipus Complex.
Like all the other sciences psychoanalysis emerged during the Hellenistic period in the III century BC and it was just rediscover during the Renaissance with the fall of the Roman emperor.,
The psyche is coming from the body, but in order to understand that we need another tool, different from the natural sciences, but not less precise, thought even more because we are dealing with a less weighted substance compare to the physics.
In order to do that we need a model, a mental base organization.
The metapsychology is our model, but because this model was developed starting from a mature way of functioning and going back to the childhood, it encounters some personal and cultural resistances.
The idea that I am proposing it is a small revolution in the field, but contains a better understanding of the phenomena.
We have two processes that operate at the same time. One is in place in order to build the Self and the other the internal objects.
We cannot have internal representations without a container for them.
At the beginning there is no Self and no objects and we need to create both of them in an environment that facilitates the process.
We can represent that in a visual way with two waves in a Cartesian axis.
What we observe is of course the sum of the two waves, but what we need to be able to see are the two separated functions and how they are in interaction between them.
Because the research went in the opposite direction of the development what it was discovered first were the internal representations of the two internal objects and the relations between them.
The name of the energy of this process of projection/introjection is the libido.
There is a cathexis of energy to an object, an investment of energy and all the vicissitude of it.
If we use an analogy with the optick, from the eyes starts a visual ray that hits the object.
If we go further to a more primitive way of functioning we cannot apply anymore this model and we need to change perspective.
Still keeping the analogy we can say that from the object starts a visual ray that hits the eyes. In this case we are not anymore concentrating our attention to the libido, but to the aggression and instead of an investment of energy into the object there is a disinvestment, a decathexis of the aggression from the external reality (I cannot say object because there is no representation of it).
Then it is not that the aggression follow the libido, but the opposite, the libido follow the aggression.
Then we are operating not anymore with interpretations in order to change the internal object or the use of transference. We are in another place and the mechanisms in operation are not introjections and projections, but imitations.
In this case the interventions are direct not to the objects, but to the self for the formation and consolidation of it.
If we keep this in mind we have a much powerful tool because we have not one way of working, but two. The problem is that in order to do that we need to monitor all the time the relationship, the interaction between the dyad.
Everything flows like a river and we can stay on one side (body) or the other (mind). We can use our mind to change the body or the body to change the mind, but the river is one, and we cannot stay on it.
At the same time there is the being that is immutable and all the rest becomes unconscious

At the beginning there is a corporal way of functioning and the mind need to be installed on it. The initial conformation is a Total self (all the aggression outside represented on my graph on the vertical axe towards the top) and no object (libido towards 0 on the axe) in function of time. The aggression diminishs and the lidibo increases if the baby is protect and hold by the caregiver and around six months these two curves cross each other with the lost of the Total self and the realization of separation and creation of the object.
At this point the organization is a Self (O) with an object (i). The vicissitude of this configuration takes another year and half to be completed with the detachment and duplication of the object in two objects (ii) and the interaction of them (x). In a pictorial way the Self is a circle (round figure) with inside the two objects (I,I) and the relationship between them (X).

If we change the word identification with  imitation

First I wish to acknowledge my debt to my psycho-analytic colleagues. I have grown up as a member of this group, and after so many years of inter-relating it is now impossible for me to know what I have learned and what I have contributed. The writing of any one of us must be to some extent plagiaristic. (D.W. Winnicott).

Introduction
In this essay I will try to go through the work of Freud on group and I will try to clarify the use of the words that he used and to make an important difference between imitation, introjection and identification as stated by Gaddini.
The relation of an individual to his parents, and to his brothers and sisters, to the object of his love, and  to his physician may claim to be considered as social phenomena; and in this respect they may be contrasted with certain other processes, described by as “narcissistic”, in which the satisfaction of the instincts is partially or totally withdrawn from the influence of other people.

Freud (1921) in Group Psychology and analysis of the Ego starts with Le Bon’s description of group mind, Psychologie des foules Le bon (1895), where he stated that the individual forming part of a group acquires a sentiment of invincible power. (irresponsible). There is also a contagion of every sentiment and act (sacrifice) and on top of that they acquire special characteristic (suggestibility).
These are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a group: disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts. We can notice the similarity with the mental life of primitive people, of children and  neurotics. But under the influence of suggestion groups are also capable of high achievements in the shape of abnegation, unselfishness, and devotion to an ideal. Freud (1921) analyzes also “The Group Mind McDougall (1920) and he distinguished an organitation as factor of distinction between Crowd and Group (with something in common) as result the exaltation or intensifications of emotion, and also five principal conditions for raising collective mental life to a higher level:
1. Degree of continuity of existence (material and/or formal).
2. Emotional relations to the group as a whole.
3. Interaction (rivalry) with other group.
4. Traditions, customs and habits determine the relations.
5. Specialization and differentiation of functions.
The mutual suggestion – imitation of individual and the prestige of leaders. (contagion) is another important aspect.
Libido is the energy of love instincts. Sexual love with sexual union as its aim, self-love, love for parents and children, friendship, and love for humanity in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas.
In artificial (stable) and highly organized groups a head loves all the individuals in the group with an equal love. Each individual is bound by libidinal ties on the one and to the leader and on the other hand  to the other members of the group. The mutual ties between the members of the group disappear, as a rule, at the same time as the tie with their leader.
Two psychologically distinct ties: a straightforward sexual object-cathexis towards his mother and an identification with his father which takes him as his model. A distinction between TO BE and TO HAVE.
1. Identification is the original form of emotional tie with an object.
2. In a regressive way it becomes a substitute for a libidinal object-tie. (intojection of the object into the ego).
3. Share a common quality with other person who is not an object of the sexual instinct.
Freud makes a distinction between to be and to have the object (mother and father in this case) and we can found the same distinction in Winnicott (1971) between the pure male and female elements and in Gaddini (1992) in psycho-sensory and psycho-oral way of to be related with an object. Freud talks about identification and mixes up imitation and introjection processes. In the first instance the relation of the baby with the mother is an imitation, there is no difference between them and after a while started another way to be related with the object with a distinction between me and not-me and an introjection. The identification is a more complex way to be related with the reality and it is the sum of the two processes mention before.
For this reason as stated by Winnicott (1958) “In other words, the clue to social and group psychology is the psychology of the individual.”in that sense the group psychology derived from the individual one, but at the same time the mind of a person is not a mind but a group mind, Bion (1961). The goal for the child is to become an individual distinct and separate from his mother, but the roots of that are in a group mind, in a way to relate to the reality that is indifferentiate.

A new metapsychological model
As Freud (1937) said in a letter to Marie Buonaparte: “The turning inwards of the aggressive impulse is naturally the counterpart of turning outwards of the libido when it passes over from the ego to objects. One could imagine a pretty schematic idea of all libido being at the beginning of life directed inwards and all aggression outwards, and that this gradually changes in the course of life.”
With this statement Freud at the end of his life reconsider the role of the aggression at the beginning of the life and he imagined an hypothetical model where all the aggressions are direct outside and all the libido inside, when the baby starts to make contact with object he starts to cathex the libido to the objects and at the same time to remove the aggression. In this way the self is protected from the outside and the scattered parts are hold together by the libido.
Ferenczi (1929) in an article called “The unwelcome child and his death instinct” pointed out to people with cold disease and easily die compares to ones with  preponderant life instinct. This is another example in which way the child builds at the beginning of his life relations with external figures that allow him to extrovert the libido and introvert the aggression and build an internal world. This is the process of construction of the Self, but when he or she realizes that it is non omnipotent and experiences this is  catastrophic.
Winnicott (1974) in Fear of breakdown stated the establishment of the unit of the self in psychotic phenomena.
“The facilitating environment can be described as holding, developing into handling, to which is added object-presenting. In such a facilitating environment the individual undergoes development which can be classified as integrating, to which is added indwelling (or psychosomatic collusion) and then object-relating.”
“It is wrong to think of psychotic illness as a breakdown, it is a defence organization relative to a primitive agony, and it is usually successful (except when the facilitating environment has not been deficient but tantalizing, perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a human baby).”
“I contend that clinical fear of breakdown is the fear of breakdown that has already been experienced”.
It is clearly in the words of Winnicott what should be the role of the Community, holding and contain the psychotic part of clients and staff, handling them and move on in the object presentation and reality principle.
We can consider the therapeutic community a kind of special school of life for adult people that experienced breakdown in their past.
Bion (1963) considers the container/contained relationship between people the heritage of the relationship mother-infant at the beginning of the life where the mother contained and transform the projection of the infant.
A clinical example is one of my client, S. with experiences of twenty years of institutionalization and paranoid thoughts. With the help of an individual therapy he started to put in words and used me as a container to fill up with his unberable feelings
I contained these expulsion material, most of the time delusions, with a lot of difficulties. In time he started to make more contact with the reality, till the point that he can make use an entire session without any delusion.
He made a lot of progress in term of well being and personal care and at the same time to be more aware about medication and blood test and to  acquire skills of cooking and cleaning of his room. If we think that in twenty years no one offered to this person any kind of support and the despair that can be found in himself, these are proof of considerable achievement.
He participate also in the group and he is in the process of moving on, for these reasons I consider important to offer him a continuity in the care, but at the same time to experience a change and to survive at it.

Conclusion
I consider our job as therapist in a therapeutic community in a more generic way of handling and holding like the role played from the mother to her infant. These allow the mind of the clients to indwell in the soma as they dwell themselves in the house with the support of practical key working. At the beginning ot the therapy we are in this area of group mind and after a while we enter in a relation based in an individual mind. These processes are parallel all the course of our life, but one becomes more consistent during the night and dream time and the other one during the day. In people with psychosis the order is inverted and probably one of them is completely or in part missing. I think that Freud was confusing in this text in the use of the word IDENTIFICATION in chapter VII and if we change this word with imitation I think will be more clear.

Bibliography

Bion, W. R. (1963) Elements of Psycho-Analysis. London:Heineman

Ferenczi, S. (1929) The unwelcome child and his death instinct. Final contributions to Psycho-Analysis.

Freud, S. (1937) Appendix

E. Gaddini (1992) A psychoanalytic theory of infantile experience Conceptual and clinical reflections. Routledge.

Winnicott, D. W. (1974) Fear od breakdown. International review of Psycho-Analysis 1, 103

Winnicott, D. W. (1965) The maturational processes and the facilitating environment. Karnac

Two papers of Gaddini

I read Gaddini, starting from the introduction to the book of Hanna Segal translated in Italian.

In Ricerche, controversie ed evoluzione della tecnica terapeutica in psicoanalisi (1975) Gaddini focused his attention on the technique and in particular on the interpretations (of Transference) and on the therapeutic relationship. On page 381 he stated (translated by myself):”They have learned to recognize as the patient could gain some goals not for the interpretations received, but for the one not received, and as some silences experienced (not conscientious) with the patient could be more value than every correct interpretation. This and other things, with the study on the counter-transference, brought to value the relationship as effective therapeutic tool, and to think the analyst as essential element of the therapy, not at all, and not only, for his capacity to give effective interpretations, but because able to stay in the relationship in the way and at the levels required.”

In an another important paper: Gli stati di non-integrazione nell’esperienza gruppale (1983) (freely translated by myself) Two phases in the process of the mental organization of the self, till the gain of an unitary self and defined spatially.

I Fusion stage (without instinct) a-pulsion. From the magic omnipotence (primary narcisim) to the catastrophe (expereince without conscience) till the separation

II Instinctual emergence stage (6 month) from the separation to the object relation.

The libido originally narcisistic becomes objectual. The libido is looking for the object. The aggression follows the libido. (classical point of view)

Freud in the letter mentioned before stated that all the aggression are outward and the libido inward.

It is the libido that follow the aggression outward and not the contrary. The transformation of the

narcissistic libido in objectual libido it will happens with the mesh of the libido with the aggression. There is not a removal of aggression but just latency, obtain though the sovraposition or counter opposition of adequate quantity of libido. This explain the ambivalence and through light on the manic depression and use of the libido of aggression in the perversion.

At the beginning the aggression charges are all outward and the libido are inward.

Then who came before in relationship with the object, who is looking for something outside, or defending from something outside, who delimited the border of the self are the aggressive charges and not the libidinal one. The libidic charge are not looking, at the beginning, the object, but are all taken inside to keep together the fragment of the self.

In regards to the pathology, the problem of the earliest month of life, in the fusion phase , is just how much libido the mother has been able to promote in the mental organization of the baby and consequently if this baby once detached s/he will have enough libido that could keep together. This is one thing. The other is that this aggressive charges, as described, are omnidirectional and not against an object. They are against all or nothing, against the external, against the external space. Some times in the analytic situation the analyst is not attacked as an object, but as external world and then he need to be able to understand that he is not an object, otherwise he enters into the relationship with dynamical objectual interpretation, that nothing have to do with the context.

At the stage of instictual emergence follow the one that we can call stage of consolidation of the self created, unitary.

This stage can go for long time . It is not a time without meaning , it is a precious time, in which for the first time it can be possible to have experience not conscience autonomous, and of the autonomous self, with few and slowly not at all anxiety of loose of the self.

People that before were not able to be with themselves not a moment, that were all the time flight towards something outside themselves, at this point are able to be by themselves, to start to feel the pleasure to be alone, and to do things for themselves that it was impossible before.

Before, it happened that instead they would have done a lot of things for others, and nothing for themselves.. Now they discover inside themselves defined position, discover that they have different opinion from others.

What is late to begin is the love relationship, in other words the objectual relationship.

The fisherman of octopus

Memory of my childhood when I was introduced by my father and grandfather to the different technique of fishing. At night with a mirror, a lamp and a fork on the boat, in the early morning with hooks and a feather with to boat moving slowly, and with three hooks attached on a string and a lead with fresh prawns catch with the net.

Oh I was a small child in this wooden boat coming back in the evening to the port and repair myself in the front of it from the wind and the cold in the small cabin where normally is stored the rope.

But the most interesting fishing for me was the one of octopus where still on the boat with a string and a lead attached a crab you pull and leave the string till you feel the weight of the octopus and slowly pull it on the surface of the sea. But before to take it out, when you can see it, you need to use a net to catch it otherwise he will run away.

You need a lot of patient to do that and you can spend hours just pulling and leaving on the boat that slowly is going towards the shore, and coming back where it was before, also there are some particular hours during the day that you can do that, in the morning between 10 and 12 and in the afternoon between 3 and 5.

The beginning of the treatment is mainly waiting for the patient to grab the crab, and once you feel it, slowly pulling him slowly to the surface of the sea, but carefully because if he feels that it is out of the sea he will run away, and you need to use the net to contain him and bring to the external world.

Mainly we use two object: the string, a symbol that I represent with an I, and the net that I represent with an O.

The O is the self and the container that the mother provides to the child with her care to him and this allows the aggression to go down, to be moved from the outside to the inside, and, at the same time the libido can be catexted from inside to outside.

In this way a first object I can be represented inside the self as a way to introject the bad object and re-establish the relationship with the subject.

But another object is duplicated inside from the first one, I like to represent this two object with two I (II). The father is the first external object because the mother in a way was coming from the inside and as individual we come from a dual and when we are able to represent the two inside we become one.

But there is another complication in the formation of the internal representation of the object inside the self, we need to represent the relationship between them and the fact that these two object had an intercourse in order to generate us, I prefer to represent that with the X, that are the two I crossed.

But lets go back to the fishing and to the possible interventions and technique. I can make an interpretation (the string) if there is an internal object that is inside the self separated from the (m)other, or I can add with the listening, containment, reverie a piece to the self in order to have a close round figure that can contain the internal object (the net). The passage from the sea to the ground from the octopus is the psychological birth for the patient, the pulling him out from the sea attached to the string is the transference and associative process of the analytic dyad, the grasp to the crab the alliance between them in order to conduct the work in a safe way.

All the time there are in place these two process and the task is to balance them in accordance to the stage where we are in with the patient and to evaluate all the time it and take the adequate adjustments.

There is something left out till now, and it is the boat, the equipment that we need to explore the sea, the setting, the frame, the location where to find octopus, the engine to move the boat, the petrol, the time, the state of the sea, that needs to be in movement but not much, the wind, the wave that moves the boat towards the shore, other people on the boat, our analyst and supervisor, the community that we are part, and finally prepare the octopus to be tender slamming them on the rock, and cooking them, and eat them with other members of the family.

Euclid and the wizard of Oz

In the book Elements Euclid creates the geometry and I would to use one of his first demonstration to illustrate some basic analytic concepts.

At the beginning of life we have just one dot A that represents the mother and the baby and slowly with the development of the baby and the provision of the mother this dot becomes two dots A and B. If we make a line between the two dots A B that is also the spinal cord and if we make two circle on each dot with the radius on the length of the line we create the third point C in the conjunction of the two circles and we can trace other two segments between A and C, and B and C and we will have a plane. I can make it more complicated and using another demonstration of Euclid in chapter 11 where two planes intersect and form a line AB.

We can use these diagrams to represent the development of a spinal cord, a line between A and B. But also a three-dimensional space with three planes,  in total seven point. Then we have an individual stand in a three dimensional space with a front and a back, a right and a left, an up and a down. The initial dual operates on sensation and the subsequent five senses operates in a perceptual way. At six months old a baby has for the first time a clear idea to be separated from the mother that becomes a non-me object. Before there was no distinction between the mother and the baby.

I want to link that to the story tale the wizard of Oz,  where there are two characters that keep my attention the scarecrow and the tin woodman.

The scarecrow is stuffed of straw and once to the wizard of Oz he would like to ask for a mind. He doesn’t have a spinal cord and he is just like a dot in the space.

The tin woodman was made of flesh and blood, but his limbs and body was chopped away and replaced by tin and once arrived to the wizard of Oz he  would like to ask not for a mind, but for a heart.  He represents in a way the two points that have lost the link between them.

Ferro represents that in article on his patient Lisa with an image of two different state of mind: symbiosis and autism. At the beginning I thought that there is no difference between them.  Now I realize that what is impaired in the symbiosis is not having a spinal cord and functioning in a psycho-oral way without a psycho-sensorial. And what happens in the autism is the opposite; working in a psycho-sensorial way and deficit of a psycho-oral. This idea brings me back to a diagram that I showed you in some papers before where I represented at the beginning of life the libido close to zero on the vertical axe and the aggression on the same axe near to infinite,  all in function of time. These two curves and the interaction between them are the two characters.  The aggression goes down because the caregiver provides a facilitating environment that creates the Self, and at the same time the libido can be decatected on the object outside and a first internal object of the bad object can be created inside. But the mother is coming from inside how we can see from the sovrapposition of the two circle,  and only the father is the third point C on the figure that his coming from outside. But also the third circle around C has some parts in common with the circle on A (the mother) and the circle on B the child. Then the internal objects are not just coming from outside as bad object,  but also are part of the Self. What is then represented in the figure of the three points and circles is also the relationship between A and C,  the mother and the father in the mind of the baby,  the fact of being  generated.

The scarecrow is afraid of the fire and it is soft, but can take water,  milk liquid.  The tin woodman is scared of water,  he gets rusty and it is hard.

It is important to distinguish in the therapy room which part of the patient we are pulling in. At the scarecrow we can give interpretations that allows him to separated from us. On the contrary at the tin woodman we can give containment that allow him to get closer to us, and giving him an heart. Of course it is difficult to distinguish that because we will never have a pure scarecrow or a pure tin woodman,  but a constant oscillation between these two. In normality there is enough of both of them and integration between mind and heart.