Death instinct and knowledge” and the interpretation of dreams1


A particular way of interpreting dreams corresponds to the discovery of the disappearance fantasy and the pulsion dynamics present in the “unconscious thinking”. In the chapter “The analyst’s intuition as a fundamental element of psychoanalysis” Fagioli argued that participation in the relationship and interest in the patient is necessary for analytic work: ​​intuition assumes fundamental importance. << Intuition in the sense of understanding the patient’s true psychic situation >>. This is true also in relation to the interpretation of dreams that are reported in large numbers in the essay. As reported in the introduction to the first edition of “Death instinct and knowledge”, the classic method of free associations is rejected because they constitute an imposition on the patient of an incoherent and fragmentary thought << (…) instead considering free associations all the communications that the patient himself makes with his way to be verbal and extraverbal>>. Starting from “The Interpretation of Dreams” of Sigmund Freud, which seemed to have introduced a revolutionary paradigm, in clinical practice the interpretation of dream images has lost importance during the twentieth century: this was due to the conception of the dream as hallucinatory satisfaction of desire, considered erroneous by many analysts, and to the idea of the unconscious and of the primary processes considered dereistic and dissociated, that is, detached from reality. With the psychology of the Self (Hartmann, Lowenstein, Kris, H. Kohut) the dream has the function of problem solving, of regulation and repair of psychic processes in line with the hypotesis of ​​a homeostatic self-regulation of the mind due to the presence of innate structures.

The idea of ​​innate structures that regulate dreams and sleep runs counter to modern concepts of neuroscience.

In fact, this last approach does not capture the deepest pulsion dynamics: without taking into consideration the latter, the work of psychotherapy corresponds to an exhibitionistic countertransference of the therapist.

There are numerous examples of dream interpretations by Fagioli who focuses his attention on the annulment pulsion: paradigmatic is the dream of a “Case History” << A woman in car tumbles off a balcony and gets smashed to pieces>>.

The dream represents the annulment pulsion against the mother at weaning with catastrophic consequences and fantasies of intrauterine regression: the intensification of this dynamic will lead to a suicide attempt by tumbling off a balcony. According to the psychiatrist of “Collective analysis”, the concept of intuition can be found only through the “psychic seeing”, through the possibility of perceiving the moods of others from small signs: therefore “perception-intuition” or “perception-fantasy”. It must be remembered that the “poetical delusional perception”  will be replaced, again in 2011, by Fagioli with the concept of “perception-fantasy”. The interpretation of dreams has its starting point in listening with imagination and receptivity, grasping the internal reality of the other without altering it and going beyond conscious language. Can we think that the interpretation of dream images presupposes that perception and fantasy are linked by the simultaneous word? Unlike the delusional perception where the simultaneity between perception and abnormal consciousness of meaning determines a loss of meaning in the inter-human relationship and therefore a “minus”, the simultaneity between perception and fantasy in the interpretation of dreams can be the prerequisite for creating a new thought which is profound knowledge of the mental reality of the other.



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