Aldo Carotenuto

Versione Italiana

Aldo Carotenuto, born in Naples (Italy) in 1933, is Professor of the Theory of Personality in the Department of Psychology (University of Rome, La Sapienza). Following his studies in Rome and Turin, he lived for some time in the U.S., where he attended the School of Experimental Psychological of the New School for Social Research in New York. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and president of the CentroStudi Psicologia e Letteratura. He is director of the Giornale Storico di Psicologia Dinamica and on the editorial staff of the Rivista di Psicologia Analitica. He is also on the scientific committee of the review Prometeo and the director of the Quaderni della Cattedra di Psicologia della Personalità with the collaboration of his assistents. Aldo Carotenuto practices as a psychoanalyst in Rome. His research is centered on clinical psychoanalysis and the relationships between psychoanalysis and literature. As a result, special attention has been given to the question of transference love in the area of psychoanalytical procedure. Many of the books written by Aldo Carotenuto between 1980 and 1988 reveal the inevitable inauthenticity of a concept of 'neutrality' as regards the relationship between analyst and patient. Thus, as that material - the intimate history of the patient - must be both source and object of the psychoanalytical process, analysis becomes the elected space of Eros and Thanatos. Only an adequate awareness of the powerful nature of those affects which are created in the analytical couple will equip the analyst to cope with the seering requests of the patient; negating his involvement will inevitably render him vulnerable and blind. The above research is also an interesting and complex series of portraist of artists, observed in the light of their secret, interior life. Carotenuto analyzes works of Kafka, Dostoevskij and Bousquet, as well as those of poets and painters, his theory being that psychological suffering alone does not suffice to explain a work of art, but that suffering generates a destiny which makes artistic research its raison d'etre. The interest in these luminaries bears out the basic theory underlying the entire production and research of Aldo Carotenuto: the primacy and absolute importance of creativity for the human being. Art, like psychoanalysis, is a process to liberate individual creative energies which have been imprisoned and blocked by a rigid, false education or by serious neuroses. However, complexes are indicative not only of blocked creative energies, but also of the effort exerted by the psyche to transfor its suffering into an instrument of liberation and creation. Aldo Carotenuto's writings are extensive and, besides numerous articles, include works some of which are considered fundamental texts in the study of personality theory and psychotherapy and the history of psychology.


October 1997