The Analytic Field and its Transformations

Author(s) : Antonino Ferro, Author(s) : Giuseppe Civitarese

The Analytic Field and its Transformations

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : January 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 224
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 35863
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782201823
  • ISBN 10 : 1782201823

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The Analytic Field and its Transformations presents a collection of articles, written jointly by Antonino Ferro and Giuseppe Civitarese in recent years, all revolving around the post-Bionian model of the analytic field - Bionian Field Theory (BFT). Going hand-in-hand with the ever-growing interest in Bion in general, analytic field theory is emerging as a new paradigm in psychoanalysis. Bion mounted a systematic deconstruction of the principles of classical psychoanalysis. His aim, however, was not to destroy it, but rather to bring out its untapped potential and to develop ideas that have remained on its margins.

BFT is a field of inquiry that refuses a priori, at least from its own specific perspective, to immobilize the facts of the analysis within a rigid historical or intrapsychic framework. Its intention is rather to bring out the historicity of the present, the way in which the relationship is formed instant-by-instant from a subtle interplay of identity and differentiation, proximity and distance, embracing both Bion’s rigorous, and his radical, spirit.

The truth of the analysis is no longer something one arrives at, it cannot be fixed or possessed; it lies rather in the experience; it is the experience. The answer lies in the question – or, rather, asking the question is the feature of this model that most closely corresponds to the idea that what feeds and grows the mind is the weaving of a sustainable meaning, or dreaming reality, just as in the nurturing relationship between mother and child.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘In this compelling new volume, Antonino Ferro and Giuseppe Civitarese present the cutting edge of contemporary psychoanalytic field theory. In so doing, they do an extraordinary job of integrating the ideas of many thinkers from diverse corners of the intellectual universe into a radically new, but clinically useful way of thinking about the patient–analyst discourse. It is one of the most impressive psychoanalytic contributions I have read in the last two decades and has the potential to transform the day-in, day-out work of the analyst into new depths of understanding. The journey into the unconscious will never be the same. I highly recommend it to all analysts and psychoanalytic therapists.’
— Glen O. Gabbard, MD, author of Love and Hate in the Analytic Setting

‘Psychoanalysis has currently become enriched by renewed conceptions of long-developing models, such as drive, part object, ego psychology, social psychology, relationism, and intersubjectivity, to name just a few, but now comes along yet another new and exciting joining together of many of these models with one borrowed from the field of grammatology, specifically metaphor – and field theory, a distillation of Kleinian and relation-intersubjectivity, and other earlier works by Bion, especially his contributions on groups and container/contained. The authors epigrammatise this new trend as “BFT”, (“post-Bion Field Theory”). There are many noteworthy features in this work. It presents itself as a compendium and resource book that spells out the fundamental structure of this new analytic super-model by an extensive deconstruction of other psychoanalytic models, followed by thoughtful integrations of them with the field theory model. I found the painstaking distinctions the authors make between “interpersonal”, “intersubjective”, “group”, and “field” to be valuable. I was also happy to see how they spelled out the mystery of “field operations” – as the anonymous voice of the group totally as well as individually, the collective will (author) being the product of the subgroups and their members. The analyst now has a voice with which he can be effectively spoken as well as speak. This work promises to become a standard.'
— James S. Grotstein, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, and author of A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy to Psychoanalysis

About the Author(s)

Antonino Ferro is a Training and Supervising Analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, of which he is the President, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the International Psychoanalytical Association. He has been a visiting professor of psychoanalysis in various institutions in Europe, North America, South America and Australia. He received the Sigourney Award in 2007.

More titles by Antonino Ferro

Giuseppe Civitarese is a psychiatrist and training and supervising analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI) and a member of the of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He lives and is in private practice in Pavia, Italy. He is the editor of the Rivista di Psicoanalisi, the official journal of the SPI.

More titles by Giuseppe Civitarese

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