Sergio De Risio, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Catholic University of the Sacro Cuore of Rome, passed away on 27 October 2004. He was one of the founders of the Journal of European Psychoanalysis, and collaborated on the first issue (1995) with a contribution written together with Pietro Bria: “The Imaginary and the Unimaginable: The Mathemathics of the Imaginary and the Problem of the Unconscious in Matte Blanco”.
He was a much loved and esteemed member of the Italian Group-Analytic Society (SGAI) and was the Editor of the Rivista Italiana di Gruppo-Analisi (Italian Journal of Group-analysis) and of the Roman Institute of Training in Group Analytic Psychotherapy of the SGAI for many years. He trained as a psychoanalyst in Rome with Ignacio Matte Blanco, of whom he was a pupil and friend.
He was a prismatic character due to his ability to harmoniously modulate the complexity of his being/feeling, not only in his strictly professional expressions, but also in his way of relating with the things of the world. Philosophy, music, poetry, mathematics and art always exalted him, since he considered them indispensable companions for understanding and praticing psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Thanks to these polyhedric qualities, he had the style of a Renaissance man, and he was a poet, above all else, in his own life and in himself.
The illnesses that attacked him towards the end of his life never stopped him and until the very end he organized conferences and cultural events in Rome, always distinguished by a wide interdisciplinary scope. He was always able to participate in and enjoy life and nature in a refined way, as revealed by his various books of poetry. Among his contributions to psychoanalysis as a book on narcissism.
A fragment from his last book of poetry, Metamorfosi virtuali, describes him very well:
There is a form of love in the silence of the woods
a love of dark verdant branches, a shy shivering that hides
from human things, that runs through mysterious and eternal mosses:
we, always pausing on the threshold of that trembling,
search in the hollows for a nest of golden straw
a bed of almost inaudible words, tenuous
so that also tenuous might become the pain
of the fragile butterflies.
The fragile flight of the mind
that does not surrender to the shadows and blinks its little light
as a firefly brushes against the heart of the dark.
Giusy Cuomo and JEP