Abstract: From his first Freudian studies, but especially in S. Freud’s correspondence with W. Fliess, the term “secret” (geheim, geheimnis) appears frequently, hence its weight and significance in psychic life, and implicitly as a form of intimacy and of confidentiality shared in the analytical relationship. The need and ability to keep a secret, but also the ability to confess, to share a secret, are mainly related to a certain elaboration of the sexual register, pre-oedipal and oedipal, of the elaboration of the traumatic, of the affects of shame, humiliation, guilt, as well as their impact on the psychic life of the subject, how they marked the subject’s existence and relationships. Another essential dimension is the inter- and transgenerational transmission of family “secrets” – often violent, incestuous experiences, such as severe diseases, genetic abnormalities, murders, suicides – transmitted over two, three or more generations, unconsciously. This work aims to reveal the secret’s dimension of life in clinical practice, as well as the deadly dimension of secrets and their vicissitudes in transfer-counter transference.
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