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Symbols and symbolization in clinical practice and in Elisabeth Marton's film My Name was Sabina Spielrein



Abstract:  If symbolization can be defined, in a general way, as the operation of substitution by which something can represent something else for someone, the Freudian discovery of the unconscious introduced the idea of a process of work whereby the subject is differentiated from the object. As a consequence, the vicissitudes of symbolization are related to the vicissitudes of the drive.

The clinical case of a psychotic patient treated in individual psychoanalytic psychodrama shows the possibility of overcoming violence and destructivity thanks to the work of representation and symbolization of the denied and split psychic movements. Thanks to the third party function of the leader and of the analytic setting, the individual psychoanalytical psychodrama favours psychic change. Elisabeth Marton's film illustrates this issue in so far as the destructive passion between Sabina Spielrein and Jung was partly transformed into a creative work with Freud's role as a third party.