Critical reflections on intersubjectivity in psychoanalysis

Andrea Marzi, Gregorio Hautmann, Sandra Maestro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors review the philosophical trend known as postmodernism and the way it has influenced apart of psychoanalytic thought, concluding with some comments on the qualities and shortcomings of the new developments. The authors consider the origins and the cultural and aesthetic-philosophical meaning of postmodernism, identifying some key concepts such as deconstructionism, the disappearance of the 'individual subject' and individual identity, and the rejection of 'in-depth' models of psychoanalysis. Then they examine various, wide-ranging developments in psychoanalytic thought and treatment. They review the intersubjective field in psychoanalysis, especially in the USA, and then explore whether the underlying lack of truth to be discovered, stressed by these 'new view' statements, or the fact that the 'truth'only exists in linguistic-narrative constructions is consistent with basic analytic concepts such as the unconscious, phantasy, transference and countertransference, which recall the tri-dimensional nature of inner psychic reality. The psychoanalytic process is a condition activated through a bond that is able to hold and contain the relationship of the analytic couple and the patient's unconscious world and not through hermeneutic or narrative constructions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1314
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Psychoanalysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Analytic process
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Postmodernism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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