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Hegeman, E. (1990). The Paradox of Loneliness: A Comment on Fromm-Reichmann's "Loneliness". Contemp. Psychoanal., 26:364-366.

(1990). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 26:364-366

The Paradox of Loneliness: A Comment on Fromm-Reichmann's "Loneliness"

Elizabeth Hegeman, Ph.D.

"LONELINESS" BY FRIEDA FROMM-REICHMANN shows how thirty years ago, the clinical understanding of certain issues preceded their theoretical understanding. Her description of the anxiety engendered by loneliness and the nature of the countertransference reactions to the lonely patient laid down the groundwork for the subsequent exploration of the therapist's negative responses to the lonely patient and all patients, which has constituted one of the richest dimensions of the psychoanalytic literature. Her account of narcissism and its role in creating isolation and inner desolation is rudimentary, but there to be elaborated by Bonime and others. And by far the most valuable contribution of the paper is her description of the experience of loneliness—"the naked horror"—and her recognition of its centrality in certain clinical states.

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Copyright © 1990 W. A. W. Institute

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Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1990)

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