Dead ends by Samuele Filomena
“After all, we assume that in the course of man’s development from a primitive state to a
civilized one his aggressiveness undergoes a very considerable degree of
internalization or turning inwards; if so, his internal conflicts would certainly be
the proper equivalent for the external struggles which have then ceased.” Freud, S. (1937). Analysis Terminable and Interminable.
(Freud made some further remarks on the destructive instinct in a letter written shortly after this paper to Princess Marie Bonaparte. An extract from it appears in the Editor’s Introduction to Civilization and its Discontents.)
I came up with this title of my paper looking a sign on the street here that indicates that the road does not have exit, and we find ourselves a lot of time in working with patients that experience a therapeutic negative reaction or a general acting out.
The impasse also is in our personal and professional development, in our personal analysis and in the supervision of clinical cases.
But the cul de sac is also a potential resource to restore our vitality and go back to the main road and carry on the journey of life.
Facing the termination phase of the training program, the lost of the colleagues and teachers is a difficult moment, but also an opportunity to find my own way of working that was stretch in different way during the recent time.
Developmentally dead ends with the psychological birth that occurs at 6 – 8 months with the process of separation individuation of the baby from the caregiver (m-other).
This is an ongoing process through our all life, and if things were well at that point, though we end it up in a dead end we have the ability to come out from it.
Things are more complicated if things were not have been going well at that time and in this case we need for our patient to experience ex-novo the process.
In this statements is implied that at the beginning of life there is any libidinal force or any object, and this puts me in a different perspective from Fairbairn or Klein.
If you read my previous papers you can see how many times I underline this difference and you are more familiar with the model that I create to describe and explain that.
The difference can be better elucidated with the analogy of making food and the implication on the tecniche. When I cook a meal normally a start from the dessert, and I go back to the second course, and to the first one, and to the appetizer, and when you start you have already ready.
The same is in psychoanalysis, what you present to the patient is the inverse of the work that you do inside yourself. Then the model that I am presenting is not a libidinal model but a model based on the aggression, it is not the investment of the object, but the disinvestment of the aggression and his internalization that allowed the possibility to looking for an object.
I know that you can feel confused because this is a completely different paradigm, but for my point of view more fruitful, and also we are just starting to understand this matter and a lot need to be done. This is my journey, and I am coming out from the dead end where I end it up, and I am starting again the trip to explore the internal world in my own way, sometimes solitary in this journey, other times with the hope that other will follow me, or I can come across to others interested in the unknown. I recommend the reading of Eugenio Gaddini and his wife Renata De Benedetti Gaddini, there is a bunch of articles collected in English A Psychoanalytic Theory of Infantile Experience Conceptual and clinical reflections where one of the most famous concept is the imitation and the distinction between psycho-sensorial and psycho-oral way of functioning of the mind. This is my contribution to this institute and I want to express the gratitude to you in allowing me to explore and manage this concepts in a deep and profound way in the clinic with my patients.