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, 90 (4), 827-42

Immersion in the Surface


Immersion in the Surface

Erika Krejci. Int J Psychoanal.


In order to treat patients with a narcissistic structure showing a rigid shell of defence together with a lack of inner differentiation - insufficient subject/object constitution - one has to deal with a split kind of transference. Their compelling need for distance corresponds to their fragile self-esteem. They feel threatened by the analysis and the analytic relationship. Because the seeming normality of these patients' thinking and language is deceptive, a variation of psychoanalytic technique to facilitate the work with them is described and explained in detail. To transform their two-dimensional 'inner' world, which functions in a PS modus, it is helpful to show them, with changing viewpoints step by step, their own manoeuvres, misconceptions and manipulative use of language within the analytic relationship. The gratifying extension of their self-awareness leads to the introjection of the analyst's alpha-function. This makes possible a more distinct separation of subject and object representations and a transformation to a three-dimensional, oedipally structured world with a strengthened capacity to symbolize. This method of working is grounded in Bion's theory of thinking. A case vignette illustrates a development of this kind.

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