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Revista de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul

Print version ISSN 0101-8108


MARUCCO, Norberto Carlos  and  MARUCCO, Alejandra Vertzner de. Current analytic practice and the question of power. Rev. psiquiatr. Rio Gd. Sul [online]. 2004, vol.26, n.3, pp.259-267. ISSN 0101-8108.

The authors focus on psychoanalytic practice in the current days in what concerns power vs. ability. Ability is the possibility of doing something, it means "being able". Power, on the other hand, is associated with command, supremacy, authority or even strength, vigor. The difference between power and ability will result in a difference in meaning and form. The authors present power/ability as being an anthropological, psychic and social category. Still, they define the analytic practice in the current days in view of three aspects: different reference schemes, current pathologies (psychosomatic and borderline pathologies, anorexia and bulimia, etc.), and finally the current social and cultural reality. After tackling such concepts, the authors address the abuse of power on the analyst's part, which is accompanied by a progressive suppression of Eros, i.e., of a drive diffusion. When this happens, the death drive manifests itself through the idealization of transference, which is equivalent to power - not to ability. Hypnosis is the best example of this phenomenon: fascination, idealized transference. On the contrary, when power is on the patient's part, the analyst, by means of countertransference, is forced to renounce his/her sexuality. The analyst, then, will have to destroy this childish situation in which a powerful object cancels the birth of sexuality within the environment of the analytic practice. The authors finish saying that the iatrogenic consequence of the attachment to an object, when installed in the analysis, is prevention of the development of sexual drive as a transference love, and that the cancellation of sexuality gives rise to power relations in the analytic pair. If this occurs, it does not matter who wins - the analytic practice will be marked by the death drive.

Keywords : Analytic practice; power; drive; transference; countertransference.

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