jueves, 13 de marzo de 2014


Estas son las conclusiones de mi comunicación sobre Fairbairn y su aportación a la comprensión de los trastornos de la personalidad. Museo Freud de Londres, 9 de marzo de 2014.


Fairbairn's description of endopsychic structure hardly applies to pure schizoid and antisocial disorders, including the “thick-skinned” or “malignant narcissistic” patient. Endopsychic structure is not valid before the solid constitution of an ego ideal – “ideal object” (IO) –, just before the completion of the superego at the depressive position. But not every subject delineates a stable ego ideal to which to aspire to emulate. In my opinion, the fear that one’s love is destructive does not originate in the schizoid position but rather, it is the result of its optimal evolution. Fear of being destructive is a form of depressive anxiety, since it requires at least some elaboration, however slight, of the feeling of guilt. Futility, on the other hand, is a common feeling in the reckless destroyer, evidently free of guilt. Perhaps Fairbairn classified as “schizoid” –and Kohut as “narcissistic”– many individuals now likely to be diagnosed as suffering from a “borderline personality”. If this is correct, then schizoid, (psychopathologically) aggressive and purely narcissistic patterns should be traced back to earlier stages in personality development. By locating moral defence in the schizoid position it seems that Fairbairn may be failing to include the unconditionally good psychopath, maybe he never came across one. Beyond borderline organization, there is the individual who, because of an early lack of empathic support, never displays any form of empathy or guilt. Fairbairn (1940), however, identifies an immoral motivation for the discharge of aggression in schizoid states: since the pleasure of love is forbidden, the pleasure of hating is allowed, to which enjoyment we can devote ourselves. Given that love involves destructiveness, it seems best to destroy through hate, in a fashion close to the narcissistic personality individual with antisocial attitudes and the antisocial individual in its most strict sense. However, these subjects become bad not in order to protect their good objects but, in my opinion, to keep all “goodness” inside themselves. Finally, I want to remark that Fairbairn remains excessively focused on the intrapsychic structure, on an inner world that ultimately takes precedence, never fully conceiving personality as an open system that continuously influences and is influenced by external experience (Cf. Scharff, 2005, p. 10). An authentic theory of human relations would affirm that what is introjected is neither images, nor objects; what is introjected - or, rather, learnt - are patterns of action or interaction. The objects Fairbairn is talking about are not, strictly speaking, “representations”; they are unconscious, procedural patterns of action, activated in interpersonal, emotional, relations, in a process of dialectical adaptation to the partner’s own procedural patterns.