Raw Object Identification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper attempts to deal with a specific kind of pathological identification—“raw object identification”—which tends to appear as concrete physiological phenomena, trying to escape meaning and integration. These somatic manifestations stem from early traumatic experiences with a meaningful object and entrap—as revealed through analysis—specific significant qualities of that object. A massive splitting ensues between body and mind, self and object, relation and identification. Certain properties of the object are then experienced as a foreign body in the subject and are defensively identified with. Thus, raw object identification is often manifested in stubborn bodily symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-370
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychoanalysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.


  • foreign-body
  • identification
  • projective identification
  • siblings
  • somatization
  • transference
  • trauma
  • unconscious-phantasy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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