1st Edition

Psychoanalysis and Dreams Bion, the Field and the Viscera of the Mind

By Antonino Ferro Copyright 2019
    156 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    156 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalysis and Dreams explores some of the cornerstones of Antonino Ferro’s theoretical model but also attempts to extend the dreamlike boundaries of the model. Based on Bion’s theory of alpha function and the analytic field, Ferro has developed his own original theorization of transformations in dreams and of work in the analytic session as a waking dream.

    Clearly highlighted in the book is Ferro’s theory that transformation in dreams is the activity which is constantly carried out in the mind of the analyst, who nullifies the reality-status of the patient’s communication and considers the patient’s narrative as a dream which must be constructed in real time in the encounter between the two minds at work. At the centre of Ferro's theoretical proposal stands the transition from a psychoanalysis of contents to a psychoanalysis which develops the apparatus for thinking, based on the conception of an unconscious in a perennial state of construction and transformation, which must be dreamed, and which continuously expands as it is dreamed.

    Psychoanalysis and Dreams is written for practicing and training psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will be helpful in everyday psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic work.

    Chapter I: Swimming to the fundamental rule

    Chapter II: Denial, negative capabilities and creativity

    Chapter III: Making the best of a bad job: Research in the consulting room

    Chapter IV: What’s hard to talk about and often gets said in whispers

    Chapter V: Evacuative and psychosomatic pathologies in the light of a post-Bionian model of the mind

    Chapter VI: Weaving thoughts and images in my own way

    Chapter VII: On the subject of supervisions

    Chapter VIII: Theorising through practice

    Chapter IX: Gradients of alphabetisation

    Chapter X: Random thoughts on technique and other matters


    Antonino Ferro is a training and supervising analyst in the Italian Psychoanalytical Society (SPI), of which he is the former president, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA). He has been a visiting professor of psychoanalysis in various institutions in Europe, North America, South America and Australia. He received the Sigourney Award in 2007.

    "The fecundity of an author can be gauged by the fertility of the issues their reflections generate and the richness of the solutions their thinking makes available to their readership. It is through this prism that one should approach this masterful new work. In it Ferro takes his reader on a tour of some of his core preoccupations, from the peculiarity of psychoanalysis itself to the mental phenomenon of evacuative manifestations. The unifying thread is Ferro’s ferociously unique voice and style of thinking, suffused in equal parts with his Bionian background and his own liveliness, clarity and creativity."
    Elias da Rocha Barros, Training Analyst, Sao Paulo Psychoanalytic Society, Brazil; Fellow, British Psychoanalytic Society

    "Nino Ferro’s talent is inimitable. This new book is full of subtle clinical examples and demonstrates his imaginative skill and deep playfulness, squiggling with serious intent and an unparalleled sensitivity to the complex field of human interaction in the clinical setting. "
    David Tuckett, Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst, British Psychoanalytical Society; Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty, Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London, UK

    "Antonino Ferro invites us to think differently by offering a rich book, generous of examples of his way of swimming in the field co-created by the analyst and the analysand. His perspective moves away from content to address the process and the tools available for dreaming, thinking and feeling. If he walks in the footsteps of the Baranger and Bion, he is distinctively himself with his own style of walking and deepening the exploration. Dr. Ferro gives us a stimulating example of how psychoanalysis remains in movement!"
    Martin Gauthier, Training Analyst, Canadian Psychoanalytic Society; Child Psychiatrist, McGill University, Canada