Human behaviour, benign or malevolent: understanding the human psyche, performing therapy, based on affective mentalization and Matte-Blanco’s bi-logic

Fionn Murtagh, Giuseppe Iurato


The key concept of Ignacio Matte Blanco’s bi-logic is the unavoidable but variable presence of primary process (symmetric thought) in the secondary one (asymmetric thought) ruling consciousness, for every human being. This variable and dynamic presence allows us, by therapeutic intervention, to convert suitably the symmetric thought into the asymmetric one. The former erupts into the latter by means of affectivity which, accordingly, should be suitably treated to be rightly modulated, regulated and symbolically represented to accomplish the aims of secondary process. This transition has been termed affective mentalization by Peter Fonagy et al. Accordingly, any therapeutic intervention should take into account these facts, aiming to treat the impetuous affective charge to accomplish this, through analytical means or the psychotherapeutic setting.