Between Mythos and Logos: Surrender, Vitalization and Transformation

B Shalgi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Transformation is a daring concept in psychoanalysis, holding within it a sense of radical change. The introduction of this concept into the realm of psychoanalytic treatment reflects an attempt to go beyond a conceptualization of transformation which is based on Logos characteristics (cause-and-effect analysis, gradualness, universal laws and processes) to a conceptualization based on Mythos characteristics (spontaneous change, based on immediate and particular encounters between subjects). Two key theories that explore these types of change are Emmanuel Ghent’s concept of surrender and James Grotstein’s idea of the transcendent position. These two notions convey the mutual surrender to O – the total reality of one’s life – a surrender through which impersonal reality becomes personal-emotional reality. One of the most important consequences of this conceptual and clinical transition is that mental health and human integrity become defined by the capacity for psychic movement, a movement which first and foremost vitalizes the human psyche. Vitalization is thus the hallmark of psychic transformation based on Mythos-like change. This paper describes these processes through both Ghent’s and Grotstein’s ideas, as well as through Bion’s notion according to which every interpretation should have extensions in the realms of sense, myth, and passion. A detailed clinical vignette will serve as an illustration of this type of psychic change and vitalization
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVitalization in Psychoanalysis
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on Being and Becoming
EditorsAmy Schwartz Cooney, Rachel Sopher
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
Edition1th ed.
ISBN (Electronic)9781003139065
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Query date: 2021-12-19 13:03:04


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