|Morrison, A.P. (1999). Shame, on Either Side of Defense. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35:91-105.|
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(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(1):91-105
Shame, on Either Side of Defense
WAS SEEN, in traditional analytic , as an impediment to the work of treatment, diverting access, and precious time, from the real task of unearthing fantasies and organizing principles. A gradual shift has taken place, such that defensive have been seen, more benignly and respectfully, as part of the trajectory of a person's life, important to his or her adaptive armamentarium. For example, has looked at and in its adaptive, -oriented context; considered defenses as attempts to preserve the integrity of . from a Jungian perspective, speaks of the archetypal , composed of trickster-demon, which both undermines and torments the vulnerable soul of the person, but also protects a person's essence against potential abuse and humiliation at the hands of the outside world.
At the same time that current approaches to analysis have become more pliable and creative, interest in shame has burgeoned, beginning with works by and , and followed by those of , , , , , ), and others. Shame has been seen in these works variably as affective experience, elements, manifestations of narcissistic vulnerability, and, occasionally, as a against other . Each of these contributions pays to the various ways that shame is hidden from view or from experience—that is, to the defenses against shame—and, in some instances, how shame itself can protect against awareness of some other or thought. As far as I know, no paper has focused primarily on the interplay between shame and . In this work, I try to do so.
Shame has been described as the “ emotion,” the “dysphoric underlying states of and vulnerability” (). Several of my patients have said over the years, “Shame (and humiliation) are the most painful feelings I know.” (A few of these were patients
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