Introduzione alla psicopatologia. Dalla nosografia individuale al legame di coppia

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Introduction to psychopathology. From individual nosography to couple bonding

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[Autom. eng. transl.] INTRODUCTION. It seems almost impossible to remain within the limits of one's own disciplinary certainties when the question of couple psychopathology is raised. The diagnostic boundaries extend to the themes of individual nosography, family psychology, sociology, anthropology, just to mention a few sources. Prose, poetry and literature bear the signs and tell the dramas, mostly emphasizing the idea of a love that captures our imagination in the form of impossible, narcissistic love, or we could say - following de Rougemont (1939) - of "love-passion", of "love of love". In other words, when dealing with psychic pain, it is precisely the psychopathology of a couple that reveals, exacerbating it, the core of the problem. In this sense we could ask ourselves if there is not a common matrix for the whole field of psychopathology in its various forms (transitive-transient-reactive, structural and personality, deficit and disease). This matrix would seem invariably connected to the inability of the self to deal with the Other, to tolerate its otherness and the resulting folds, such as difference, hostility, ambivalence, jealousy. Eloquent in this direction is the warning dispensed by Kernberg (1995): “To be able to sadistically attack one's partner and assist the survival of his love, to experience in himself the passage from uncontrollable anger and from devaluation to guilt, to mourning , to repair, they are invaluable experiences for the couple "(p. 107). It should be remembered that in this disciplinary field - especially from the research point of view - the temptation to pursue the extremely beaten path of individual diagnosis is still strong. Thus, the discourse revolves mostly around certain psychopathic frameworks and how these can interfere with the development of "mature" love relationships, we could say "intimate". The relevance of traditional nosographic psychopathology is not at issue here, on the contrary it represents the preamble to this monograph, constituting its point of origin and a non-circumventable discourse. The risk, rather, is to look at the couple through a summative operation (the sum of two diagnoses) or, even more dangerously, to transfer the specific categories of individual psychopathology to the couple's bond according to a transitive stratagem that has as its outcome that of qualify the relationship as "phobic", "abulic", "depressed" and so on. There is another shortcut, whose assumption - which is still implicit - is expressed in the resolute adherence to a hypothetical interpretative model of the relationship, which not only outlines the physiognomy and organization of the couple, but which even warns us to support an underlying ideal model, almost as if relations could be shaped or rendered immune to what are commonly called "risk factors", or "crisis factors". Among the latter, to impose itself as an urgency, almost like a social epidemic, is marital conflict; being exempt would not only be desirable but also recommendable, as well as, somewhat forcibly, prescribed by the clinician. In reality, as Dicks wrote (1967), "the opposite of love is not hatred, hatred and love always coexist as long as there is a living relationship. The opposite of love is indifference "(p. 188). Finally, there is a third "way", more difficult to follow, which inspired this text by recalling the pioneering work of authors such as Dicks (1967), Eiguer (1984), Kaës (1994) and, more specifically, the Theorizing by Hurni and Stoll (1996) about couple perversion, described by the authors with clinical meticulousness, without complacency or morality
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Introduction to psychopathology. From individual nosography to couple bonding
Original languageItalian
Number of pages66
ISBN (Print)978-88-831-1995-8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Coppia
  • Psicopatologia


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