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Basch, M.F. (1981). Selfobject Disorders and Psychoanalytic Theory: A Historical Perspective. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 29:337-351.

(1981). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 29:337-351

Selfobject Disorders and Psychoanalytic Theory: A Historical Perspective

Michael Franz Basch, M.D.

PSYCHOANALYSTS HAVE ALWAYS HAD PATIENTS who experienced disturbances in development prior to reaching the oedipal phase and, as a result, developed pathology that did not respond to interpretations made in terms of the oedipal conflict. These analysands were suffering not from neuroses, but from what we now call narcissistic personality and behavior disorders. We find the following comment by Freud (1919):

We cannot avoid taking some patients for treatment who are so helpless and incapable of ordinary life that for them one has to combine analytic with educative influence; and even with the majority, occasions now and then arise in which the physician is bound to take up the position of teacher and mentor. But it must always be done with great caution, and the patient should be educated to liberate and fulfill his own nature, not to resemble ourselves [p. 165].

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