Thursday Oct 12, 2023

Bernard Golse - A plea for a third topicality.

A plea for a third topicality.
An intrapsychic representation of the intersubjective bond,
even before the discovery of the object.


Can psychoanalysis be useful with infants? How can we think through concepts of metapsychology with infants? The two Freudian topics are in reference to the instances which are fruit of the completed intrapsychic differentiation process. How can they be useful with infants, who by nature are still undifferentiated and unfinished? In this episode Bernard Golse presents us with his arguments for a third topical approach. Drawing on his extensive experience of parent-infant therapy, he proposes a metapsychology of the primitive pre-object bond, a perinatal topic of mental representation of the intersubjective bond prior to differentiation of instances and object discovery. 

Bernard Golse is a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst (member of the Association Psychanalytiquede France) and Professor Emeritus of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Université Paris Cité. For many years he was head of the Child Psychiatry Department at the Necker-Enfants MaladesHospital in Paris. Among other associative activities, he is presently chair of the European Association of Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and he recently founded the Institut Contemporain de l'Enfance to promote psychological care and support for infants, children, and adolescents, with reference to psychoanalysis, psychopathology and pedagogy with links to the world of arts and culture because of the dialectic that exists between therapeutic creativity and artistic creativity. The three areas in which he has been most involved are early infant development, autism spectrum disorders and adoption issues. He is therefore particularly focused on the question of links.


A subtitled version of this podcast is available on our YouTube channel:


This episode has been produced in collaboration with Julia-Flore Alibert.

This Podcast Series, published by the International Psychoanalytical Association, is part of the activities of the IPA Communication Committee and is produced by the IPA Podcast Editorial Team.

Head of the Podcast Editorial Team: Gaetano Pellegrini.
Editing and Post-Production: Massimiliano Guerrieri.


You can download the written text of this paper from this link:




This episode is available also in French


Recommended Links and Readings:

S. Missonnier and B. Golse, The third topography: a topography of the bond, 89-114. In : Autistic phenomena and unrepresented states – Explorations in the emergence of Self (edited by H.B. LEVINE and J.SANTAMARIA).

Phenix Publishing House Ltd, “Firing the mind”, A.Santamaria Picoanálisis México, Oxfordshire, 2023



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