IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

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the term from usage of the concept. While the term has been used in the myriad of contexts having to do with lessening of anxious tensions in both analyst and patient, the usage of the concept and its derivations (even while paradoxically sometimes not using the term), has evolved and has been usefully employed across the psychoanalytic orientations. This point was addressed by some post-Bionian authors as well as by those from other conceptual networks, especially within broadly based Freudian conceptual networks, including Contemporary Ego psychology, and also within some strands of contemporary Self psychology, while they acknowledge similarities and differences. (See separate entries EGO PSYCHOLOGY and SELF) From the perspective of some post-Bionian thinkers, connections between broadly based contemporary Ego Psychology and Bionian thought was discussed by Lawrence Brown in his paper “The Ego Psychology of Wilfred Bion: The implications for an intersubjective view of psychic structure” (Brown 2009). For his part, Elias da Rocha Barros notes that “…the concept’s inter-subjective turn seems to have become deeply rooted in contemporary psychoanalytic culture, especially in North and Latin America. This concept filled in a gap that has become critical to contemporary psychoanalysis. I am thinking of the shift in a patient’s relationship to his own mind in the context of inter-subjectivity, in such a way as to hinder the impulse towards action and foment the possibility of reflection ” (Rocha Barros 2015). From Contemporary Freudian Ego psychology perspective, Shmuel Erlich (2003) postulates an ‘ego transformative function’, one of the possible links between Contemporary Ego psychology and Bion’s alpha function (see also separate entry EGO PSYCHOLOY). In another example of apparent rapprochement, the North American contemporary Ego psychologist Fred Busch (2013), marking a paradigmatic shift from lifting repression towards transformation, makes an almost identical point to the one expressed by da Rocha Barros, when he states that with the development of a psychoanalytic mind the patient acquires the capacity to shift the inevitability of action to the possibility of reflection. His ‘working within the transference’ method revolves around what Ogden called, ‘ thinking about thinking’. The underlying thesis in creating a psychoanalytic mind is that what is accomplished in a relatively successful psychoanalysis is a way of knowing, and not simply knowing. Transformation of words as actions into symbolic, representational thinking is part of helping the analysand to develop a psychoanalytic mind as an expansion of the capacity to play with thoughts, which is dependent on their being representable. That is, rather than primarily searching for buried memories, one attempts to transform the under-represented into ideas that are representable. The movement is, from pre-conceptual (concrete), and preoperational, into symbolically represented. Thus, before any meaning can be interpreted, the psychic mechanism and content (i.e., conflict, defense, self-reparation, internalized objects, etc.) will need to be represented verbally in a way that leads to symbolization. Words and thoughts serve as efficient, and structuring signs for what is signified . Busch’s points of concordance with Rocha Barros leave open the degree to which Busch relies on the Container-Contained model to explain the emergence of reflectiveness. Overall, however, the emergence of this perspective brings Ego psychology closer to aspects of the work of André Green, Betty Joseph, and Antonino Ferro


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