The present studies were designed in order to obtain a better understanding of the nomological network of the alexithymia concept. In study I, the links between alexithymia, coping, and self-rated health were explored. As predicted, strong negative correlations were found between alexithymia and the expression of emotions, daydreams and fantasies, and planful and rational actions. Contrary to expectations, no clear associations were found with self-reported health status. In study II, the focus was on links with personality, temperament, and self-reported (susceptibility to) homesickness.
The author argues that seduction is not primarily a fantasy but a 'real' situation, which lies at the heart of the other two allegedly primal major scenarios: castration and the primal scene. This statement is not to be confused with an event-based realism, as, for this to be achieved, a third category of reality must be postulated. This reality, constantly misconstrued by authors as corresponding to material and psychological reality, is that of the message conveyed and, more specifically in the case of analysis, the enigmatic message.
In this paper, the author explores the difficulties in developing the capacity to fall and remain in love, as shown in a case study of a Holocaust survivor's daughter whose mother lived through the Holocaust as a child. These difficulties arose from the inability of the daughter to go through the mourning processes necessary for the separation from her bereaved mother, as well as from the daughter's fixation on the mother's interminable, unresolved mourning. The daughter exploited her relationships with the love objects in her life to play the role of the victim/persecutor.
Hans Christian Andersen's story 'The Little Mermaid' is read as a creation myth and a metaphor for woman's condition in patriarchy, broadly conceptualised within a Lacanian framework. In the first part, the psychoanalytic concept of castration (broadly conceptualised as containing any existential severance which forms the basis for sexual difference and subjectivity) is utilised to argue that the myth is about a construction of (mostly female) subjectivity through a series of separations or splits: (1) birth, (2) growing up, (3) desire and (4) death.
The interplay between idealization and disillusionment in the evolution of romantic love is examined. Idealization refers to the reawakening of conscious and unconscious fantasies that lovers project onto each other. Disillusionment refers to a change in perception that occurs when projections are not sustained. The optimal balance between idealization and disillusionment facilitates the deepening of intimacy in a process similar to the one Kohut describes in the development of self structure. Conversely, a great imbalance between idealization and disillusionment can lead to heartache.
The systematic terms of metapsychology expressed in Freud's theory of oedipal guilt have overshadowed his emergent ideas about preoedipal internal objects and preoedipal guilt. This article reconstructs the latent theory of preoedipal guilt in his notions of narcissism, fantasy, aggression, and ambivalence. Special attention is devoted to his discussions of the narcissistic function of creating fantasized objects through identificatory processes, in order to compensate for loss or disturbances in object relating.
This clinical paper develops an interpersonal theory of the therapist-patient relationship when boundaries are violated. It describes a clinically useful way to define boundary transgressions. A variety of mutually created dialectical paradigms interact with the therapist's psychopathology when, for various reasons, the therapist who is fully ethically responsible cannot see what is happening. The role of burgeoning aggression, dominance/ submission interplay, envy, and erotized countertransference is explored as forces leading to sexual and nonsexual exploitation of patients.
The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis
Gabbard (1994) divided the pathology of therapists, both male and female, who commit sexual boundary violations into those who are psychotic, those who are predatory psychopaths, those engaging in masochistic surrender, and those called "the lovesick therapist." Lovesick therapists are the most common type and manifest crucial narcissistic themes of "a desperate need for validation by their patients, a hunger to be loved and idealized, and a tendency to use patients to regulate their own self-esteem" (p. 127).
This is a clinical paper, which includes material from sessions, presenting the process of the analysis of a young adult male whose narcissistic character patterns, related to and evolved from failed attempts to integrate conflicting parental identifications. These unintegrated mother and father identifications contributed to life-long latent homosexual fantasies. Rodney's analysis indicates that for a boy/man, even a mother who has the qualities of a good enough parent, is not good enough to enable him to reach a nonconflicted manhood.
In the initial phase of a romantic relationship, excitement often reflects the reawakening of early narcissistic fantasy. For most couples, when the passionate intensity that is derived from primitive narcissism fades, the expansiveness of a developing sense of self that is a by-product of the creative process can, in turn, revitalize the partnership. Arieti's work on creativity is applied to understanding how some passionate intensity can be retained over the lifetime of a marriage.