IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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remains in the internal world of the person, excerting a pathogenic power and effect and producing pathological feeling experiences: “... the 'constructive experiences' are those that condition the creation of new 'ego resources', while 'negative experiences' condition what we call 'traumatic experiences'; these will tend to create pathological and pathogenic ‘ego resources', and will have a tendency to repetition, as always looking for a new opportunity for what some authors have called 'a new beginning' (Balint) or a re-development (Winnicott). Continuing with our way of thinking, traumatic experiences can be interpreted as experiences that leave pathological identifications, that is, they condition 'presences' of others inside us, with the pathogenic power they had at the time of the traumatic experience itself.” (García Badaracco, 2006b, p.4) When the need of a child is frustrated or not recognized due to the deficiencies of the parental objects, these may turn into maddening objects. In contrast to Melanie Klein, who considers the good object as only satisfying and the bad object as only frustrating (Klein, M., 1980), Garcia Badaracco states that the good object is the one which provides, with its structuring function, the conditions for the frustrating experiences to be more tolerable and for the satisfactory experiences to have a limit. On the other hand, he describes the bad object as the one which, due to its own deficiency, cannot provide those necessary elements. On the contrary, the bad object magnifies frustrations, envy and primitive hatreds, which is also characteristic of a maddening object. The many years of experience in public hospitals and in his own Multifamily Structured Therapeutic Community, addressing complex pathologies, allowed García Badaracco to discover the importance of reciprocal interdependencies in order to understand the mental pathology. To him, the mind is always comprised by normative reciprocal interdependencies, which provide security, and/or maddening pathogenic interdependencies. Through many years of clinical experience with seriously mentally ill patients and their families, he formulated his core idea of a basic component of mental functioning as a back and forth exchange between two minds: one, which is, developing and growing, and the other, which has already reached a particular level of development. Extending the understanding of Ego mechanisms of defense to encompass deeper aspects of the functioning of the mind, García Badaracco thought in terms of a subject to subject relation: two subjects with different characteristics in reciprocal interdependencies, which leads to conceptualization of “maddening presences.” In this context, the concept of “fixation” would be understood as the persistence of a bond with an object which contains the characteristics of a maddening object/presence within the psyche. Such a presence is fed from outside by a real parental object, which imposes at the very beginning, the condition of being essential to the person's life . “ The experienced feeling when separating from a mother, who despite of causing suffering, functions as a ‘neccesary poison’ to neutralize psychic pain, is experienced as a threat of death by both mother and child” (Mitre, 2008, pp. 6). The fact of depending on people without resources leaves the patient exposed, due to his or her defenseless position to any traumatic situations.

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