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DeRosis, L.E. (1985). Comments on Separation and Loss in Psychoanalytic Therapy with Borderline Patients: Discussion of Dr. Searles' Paper. Am. J. Psychoanal., 45(1):29-34.

(1985). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 45(1):29-34

Comments on Separation and Loss in Psychoanalytic Therapy with Borderline Patients: Discussion of Dr. Searles' Paper

Louis E. DeRosis, M.D.

Dr. Searles' thought-provoking paper contains many important findings and concepts. Central to his theme is the concept of “the unconscious, fantasied omnipotence, an aspect of the patient's unconscious self-image.” Similarly, Karen Horney found at the heart of the neurotic process what she called “the search for glory.” It encompasses such terms as total and absolute. Horney described an unconscious, neurotic “idealized image” as a vehicle to pursue glorification of the self, through which life is insured totally and forever.

People have needlessly given their lives to make this pursuit a reality. The history of civilization is essentially the history of how people have gone about making their dreams and fantasies of glory a reality at any cost. Nothing, and no one, has ever been spared. Far more misery has been visited upon the human group by this chase than any floods, plagues, or other natural catastrophes. This is a tendency in us which is all too easily mobilized and transmitted. Thus, this process, which accounts for much of the enslavement of the human spirit throughout the ages, is massively reflected in neurotic, borderline, or psychotic development.

The Exodus is a story of a search for freedom. Therapy, too, is a search for freedom. However, patients seek not freedom, but relief from distress. They cannot know that true relief requires freedom from defensive image creations, which have long outlived their usefulness. They cannot know that they have to give up their idols, their images.

The pursuit of glory is buttressed by ways of life which are handed down like old clothes to the new member of a family.

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