The Spaces of Psychical Reality

A Critical Literature Review
By Manon Bourguignon, Muriel Katz-Gilbert, Benjamin Farrow

This article aims to bring to light a certain vagueness inherent in the terminology developed in the field of group psychoanalysis, especially with respect to the concept of psychical space. For years, psychoanalysis seems to have limited itself to the intrapsychical. Today, it appears that it is necessary to distinguish three spaces of psychical reality: intrapsychical, intersubjective, and transsubjective. However, the concepts that define these three psychical spaces vary both in their theoretical use and their explanatory value. This critical literature review identifies the different definitions in use in the French and Argentine schools of psychoanalysis while also delineating the limits of these definitions. This first step seeks to open up lines of approach to current questions regarding belonging in filiation and affiliation, social belonging and belonging to the human species, in order to illuminate the psychical reality of human groups.


  • psychical reality
  • psychical spaces
  • intrapsychical
  • intersubjectivity
  • transsubjectivity
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