Jorge Luis Maldonado


Award Year: 2014

maldonado-jorge-luis_2014I was born in the city of Cordoba, in Argentina, where I lived for 23 years until finishing my degree in medicine. My interest in psychoanalysis began while I was studying medicine, when a copy of Freud’s ‘Psychopathology of everyday life’ fell into my hands. At that time, Cordoba was a city which was proud of having been home to one of the first universities of both Americas which was four centuries old; its citizens were traditional and cultivated. In contrast, psychoanalysis was almost unknown or associated with transgression, madness and prohibited sexuality, which made it difficult for me to follow this new discipline. With the full support of my parents, and the warm and solid companionship of Marta, my wife, I moved to Buenos Aires with the aim of beginning my studies in psychoanalysis. I began my analysis and started working in psychiatry. Five years later, I began my training in psychoanalysis which was based on concepts from the Argentine school. I was fortunate in having a training-analysis with David Liberman which proved to be an experience full of discoveries and insights into my inner world. I have also been very lucky to have studied under professors of great caliber such as Leon Grinberg, Angel Garma, and especially Horacio Etchegoyen and Willy Baranger. I owe Etchegoyen a great deal for enabling me to have a deeper understanding of Melanie Klein, Bion and post-Kleinian authors. I met every week with a group of colleagues headed by Baranger to study and compare Lacanian theory with the concepts of Freud, Klein and Winnicott over a period of twenty years. I confess that my attitude towards the Lacanian conception of the mind was always very critical. The basis of my refutation of these ideas was my own research into the psychoanalytical process combined with the ideas of the authors mentioned above. These years of study left me with a more questioning approach to new knowledge by means of comparison of concepts. I learnt that theories may become myths, but that it is necessary to investigate myths so that they may be refuted.

My principle areas of interest lie in my work with patients in analysis, and the teaching of psychoanalysis to colleagues at different stages in their psychoanalytic career. My initial research was focused on the states of impasse and on the participation of the analyst in the stagnation of the psychoanalytic process. These ideas, originally developed in Spanish, culminated in two publications in English: “Analyst involvement in the psychoanalytical impasse” and “On negative and positive therapeutic reactions”. My later research was concerned with narcissism from the perspective of intersubjectivity and I investigated the participation of the analyst in narcissistic structures. I found that narcissism is a structure which can only be established with the presence of the other and, using the model of the myth of Echo and Narcissus, I highlighted the importance of Echo (the analyst in the analytical situation) in the structuring of narcissism. Echo, in a seemingly passive way, sustains the position of Narcissus. I went on to investigate related pathologies such as addictions, perversions, ambiguity, disturbances in symbolization, and pathologies of psychoanalytical institutional life, among other areas of research. These ideas were published in six languages and some can be found in publications of Psychoanalytic Societies in Europe and Latin America, in the IJPA, in my book on narcissism and in other books which I co-authored. Currently, my work is centred on the factors and indicators of psychic change in psychoanalytical processes.

I have been involved in institutional activities in the Buenos Aires Psychoanalytical Association, where I am a training analyst. I have participated in FEPAL activities and worked on the Editorial Board of the IJPA for many years. I was a guest speaker at different psychoanalytical institutions in Europe and Latin America.