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Rothstein, A. (1984). Fear of Humiliation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 32:99-116.

(1984). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 32:99-116

Fear of Humiliation

Arnold Rothstein, M.D.


This paper explores the ontogeny of fear of humiliation, conceived of as an important organizing affect-laden fantasy in certain narcissistic personality disorders. The influence of the pleasure of the parental object in sadistically humiliating is emphasized in the overdetermined genesis of this fear. While, in elaboration of Loewenstein's (1957) and Eidelberg's (1959) contributions, "seduction of the humiliator" is a fundamental defensive process observed in masochistic characters, identification with the humiliator is a sadonarcissistic defense observed in work with certain narcissistic personality disorders. The countertransference potential to enjoy humiliating such analysands, as well as the defensive functions of fear of humiliation, are noted.

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