The term 'psychoanalytical process', though occurring but rarely in Freud's works, has become firmly established nowadays despite being hard to define, explain, or pin down in conceptual or meta-psychological terms. Although it is often employed as equivalent to 'psychoanalytic work', currents of thought that draw on the idea display a certain ambivalence, for it can relate both to a theory of treatment (the practice of analysis) and to a theory of mind (a theory of psychic functioning). Before developing his own original perspectives about the consequences of the heterogeneity of psychic functioning, the author examines how various practitioners have approached this subject since Freud. He shows how each has shed useful new light on this issue, leading to a diversity of points of view, thereby justifying the idea of the 'process' within psychoanalytic treatment.
The aim is to focus on the scientific production of significant authors whose works are outstanding contributions to the development of the psychoanalytic field and to set out relevant ideas and themes, generated during the history of psychoanalysis, that deserve to be discussed by present psychoanalysts.