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Elliott, M. (1988). Superego-Based Physical Symptoms. Brit. J. Psychother., 4(4):412-415.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 4(4):412-415

Superego-Based Physical Symptoms

Mitchell Elliott

Freud's ‘Dora’ case is an example of hysteria in which the symptoms themselves are fundamentally id-phenomena modified and disguised. In other hysteria cases the symptoms may originate in the harsh superego and represent childhood punishments, reinvoked in a desperate effort to hold forbidden impulses in repression. Analytic interpretation of such symptoms can help to loosen the repressive barrier. At the same time the fact of reinvocation of childhood punishments can alert the analyst to the presence of forbidden impulses clamouring for expression.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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