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Kavaler-Adler, S. (2006). From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning. Part I. Am. J. Psychoanal., 66(3):239-260.
    

(2006). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 66(3):239-260

From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning. Part I

Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP

This study proposes through a case illustration that psychoanalytic patients who can process both aggression and loss through a mourning process are able to free themselves from pathological self attack when the object relations work of attachment, psychic holding, and separation transpires. In the case of Helen discussed here, transformation through a “developmental mourning process” results in the evolution of powerful psychological capacities for interiority, self agency, and interpersonal compassion. This developmental mourning process is endowed with the assimilation and psychic fantasy symbolization of aggression.

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