Psychoanalysis, Identity, and the Internet: Explorations into Cyberspace
Every day we seek information from the internet, buy something, play videogames, chat, work, and so on. But what exactly is the nature of the space we surf in and through? Is it virtual or real? What is the actual relation between the virtual reality we inhabit more or less in a videogame, or a film, or a common experience on the Internet, and the psychic reality that is one of the main focus of psychoanalysis? What happens to the sense of corporeality, time, and space that we are accustomed to, considered as the vital component of subjective experience? And what happens to the real relationships between people?
This timely volume, first published in Italian in 2013, explores the consequences of virtual reality in the analytical field and the peculiar characteristics of the encounter with the particular state of mind of internet-addicted patients; it also shows in detail the path of the therapy, psychotherapeutic or analytic, and the path of the analyst with the net-surfer, a castaway in the realm of virtual reality.
Considering all the points of view expressed in the book, cyberspace appears, on the one hand, as a mirror that traps vulnerable people in a pseudo-reality, while on the other hand it appears as a particular dimension which sets creative phantasy free. In either case, this dimension challenges us every day, while spreading out, alluring us, eluding us.