Memoir of the future and the defense against knowledge

Having studied the analytic process as one in which the Beta elements are represented in images (pictograms) and then in narrative form, we moved on to look at the process that occurs in reverse, in Frederico Fellini’s dream book.  Fellini had a daily habit of writing down his dreams and then drawing the image that came to mind. Ferro showed us that the drawing serves as the interpretation of the dream—no further narration, and no analyst in sight—and that completed the process until the night when the next dream could occur. Looking at a sequence of Fellini’s dream-text-picture records, we saw a progression from terror and loss to manic defense and resolution with acceptance of depressive anxiety. Like Fellini, we face the risk of plunging into depression, but we can use the fuel form the energy of the paranoid-schizoid position to arrive at a state of integration that is full of life. As we discussed this material in the large group, many minds were brought to bear on the dreams and the relevance to self-analysis and analytic therapy with patients. In Ferro’s way of putting it, based on Bion, the group brings many Alpha functions to bear on puzzling material, a super-Alpha function that he calls Gamma function, and this allows for a much richer appreciation of the material presented to us, richer for us, and for him.

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