The Bi-Personal Field: Experiences in Child Analysis

The Bi-Personal Field: Experiences in Child Analysis

The Bi-Personal Field: Experiences in Child Analysis

The Bi-Personal Field: Experiences in Child Analysis

Synopsis

In The Bi-Personal Field, Antonino Ferro sets out his new conceptual system for analysis, claiming that the basic focus of the analytic relationship is the conscious and unconscious interpersonal processes occurring between the analyst and the patient. Illustrated with numerous detailed clinical examples, the book takes a fresh look at psychoanalytic theory and technique in the light of Kleinian developments, particularly reflecting the drastic changes due to the thinking of Bion.

Excerpt

Elizabeth Bott Spillius

Dr. Antonino Ferro, a distinguished Italian analyst, studied medicine and psychiatry at Palermo and psychoanalysis at the Milan Institute of Psychoanalysis. He is a training analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society, Visiting Professor of Psychiatric Semiotics in Pavia University and of Child Psychotherapy at Milan University. He has worked together closely with a group of Milan colleagues, particularly Giuseppe Di Chiara, Luciana Nissim Momigliano, Eugenio Gaburri, and Dina Vallino Macciò, and also with Michele Bezoari in Pavia.

As the reader will soon discover from reading the abundant clinical presentations of this book, Dr Ferro has the gift of clinical imagination, a marked capacity to sense the thoughts and feelings of the other person and to feel how they relate to his own. He has worked particularly with children—those forthright critics of adult pretensions—but, like Klein and Bion before him, he sees no difference in the basic approach and technique of psychoanalysis with children and with adults. Psychoanalysis is one.

Ferro attempts to develop a new conceptual system to express and contain his clinical approach. in the first chapter of this book he describes, as he sees them, the basic tenets of the conceptual schemes of Freud, Klein, and, using the ideas of Bion and Willy and Madeleine Baranger, the bi-personal field, the conceptualization that he and some of his colleagues have developed.

In Freud’s system, according to Ferro, the basic focus is on the conscious and unconscious effects of the patient s history and external relations; in Klein s system, it is on the patient’s intrapsychic world of unconscious phantasy; in his own, it is on the conscious and unconscious interpersonal/ intersubjective processes going on between analyst and patient. It will be clear even from this skeletal description that Ferro’s approach has certain features in common with some of the exponents of self-psychology, relational analysis, social constructivism and mtersubjectivism in the usa. He

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