Daniel Biebel, 13 December 2018
We are pleased to present the sixth edition of Psychoanalysis. Today.  We have titled this edition Fragmentation and Breakdown.  Two words loaded with intensity, two disturbing concepts. In ordinary parlance, these two terms evoke violent, profound, massive ruptures occurring in a structure or system.  The terms refer to a whole that is fragmented or broken down. But what is the significance and value of these concepts in the world of psychic and social life?  What are their usefulness and meaning in the fate of the processes of the soul? How do psychoanalysts use them? How do they relate to psychic temporalities? 

As has already happened with other concepts, this issue of Psychoanalysis.Today will offer some answers and will raise many questions. Psychoanalysts from different parts of the world and from various theoretical traditions, who have responded generously to our solicitation, bring us a variety of viewpoints and perspectives. 

Julián Onaindia, in his article Putting Together the Fragments to Being Alone deploys and explains what the title states. He starts from the Freudian idea of prematurity of the newborn and the lack of motor coordination to see in the experience of the birth, an experiment of fragmentation. He wonders about the type of psychic event that would be instrumental in transforming a fragmented body into a (more or less) unified body. The author starts from the Mirror Stage of Lacan to lead us to Winnicott and his conception of "primary affective development". 

Justin Jones tells us his way of working in his article, Using Hate in the Countertransference to Mend the Fragments: A Sampling of a Patient's Treatment. In eloquent brush strokes, he portrays the difficult, complex and delicate interaction he has with his patient William and how, with the help of theory, he understands his psychic functioning. 

Ricardo Jarast in his article, The Death of the "Hand": Terror, Narcissistic Fragility, and Psychosomatic Breakdown  speaks to us of clinical, social disasters and recurrent historical situations at the limit of what is bearable. He chose to illustrate his ideas by analyzing a moving episode, selected in a popular comic strip in Argentina's Eternaute. This happy choice allowed him to suggest and highlight some analogies between the world of the cartoon and the social and political contemporary society.

Elizabeth María Mori, in her work The Split Esplanade: A Nightmare of Citizenship, presents three clinical vignettes and wonders what they say about the current Brazilian society. Her essay shows us how politics penetrates the psychoanalyst's office and tells us about the rupture and fragmentation of public life. Her examples and reflections, without a doubt, may seem very remote to readers of other nationalities. 

In her article, Where Are You Speaking From?  Nilofer Kaul has written a polyphonic text in which the voices of patients, psychoanalysts like Winnicott and poets such as Milton, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson and T.S. Eliot are intermingled. This convinces us not only of the cost of fragility in the concept of collapse but also of that of psychic elasticity as a disposition to live with and as suffering. According to Kaul and contrary to popular belief, we could say that the patient who cannot collapse is one who does not have the opportunity to be connected with his authenticity. 

Thierry Bastin and France Garfinkiel-Freson  have written  jointly, the article The Fragmented Body with Integrated Thinking. It is about the body of the child, its integration, its movements and the fact that the existence of this body only acquires meaning in relation to others. Often, the body's sensory, postural and motor remain at the forefront hindering the child in getting access to his internal life and to representation. This text tells us about the agitation, with defensive value, of some children. It tells us about the difficulties of bodily contact and about the importance, for the development of the child, of the body to body connections and the regulations, both in the child’s environment and at the place of the therapeutic work. 

Francisco. J. González is the author of Cutting Families Apart at the Border, We Find Ourselves...  We may find ourselves experiencing and seeing  traces, in this article, of many of our own histories of migration, in parallel with the long history of the American immigration policy which proceeds to the separation of families and the collapse of individuals. González reports on the brutal context of the current attacks by the American Administration, which attacks family ties and disturbs children. 

In conclusion, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the authors of their articles, in which they share their experiences, their readings, their tastes and their reflections.