The Many Faces of Adam: The Importance of the Paternal Function in the Formation of the Internal World of the Baby and in The Transference


In her paper on Psychological Birth and Psychological Catastrophe, Frances Tustin (1981), discussed the importance of integrating the various sensation-dominated happenings, encountered in the infant’s experience of the environment, both before and after birth. She called our attention to a primary sensorial component inherent in the task of early integration. Thus, although Klein (1957) highlighted the integration of the experience of the good and bad breast (objects) taking place in the depressive position around six months of age, Tustin (1981) stressed the earlier primary integration of the sensations of hard and soft occurring even before the onset of the paranoid-schizoid position, consistent with what Meltzer (1988) alluded to as a primary depressive position. In this lecture I will discuss and illustrate the importance of the paternal function in the formation of the internal world of the baby and in the transference.

Dr. Judith Mitrani

is a Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at The Psychoanalytic Center of California in Los Angeles and has recently been honored with Emeritus status. A Fellow of the International Psycho-Analytical Association, she has published numerous papers in the area of primitive mental states in both international and American peer-reviewed journals and many edited books, and her work has been translated in twelve languages. She is the author of the books Framework for the Imaginary: Clinical Explorations in Primitive States of Being (1996, second edition 2008); Ordinary People and Extra-Ordinary Protections: a Post-Kleinian Approach to the Treatment of Primitive Mental States (2001); Psychoanalytic Technique and Theory: Taking the Transference (2014) and of the two fiction books: The Most Beautiful Place in the World: A Memoir of a Psychoanalyst and the Realization of a State of Mind;  Couched in Blood. She is also co-editor — with her analyst/husband Dr. Theodore Mitrani — of the books Encounters with Autistic States: A Memorial Tribute to Frances Tustin (1997) and Frances Tustin Today (2015). She is the founding Chair of the Frances Tustin Memorial Trust (1995-2018), and still supervises and lectures internationally on topics related to the treatment of autistic states in adults and psychoanalytic technique with the infantile transference. She now resides in Paris, France.