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Mann, D.W. (2008). The Mirror Crack'd: Dissociation and Reflexivity in Self and Group Phenomena. Contemp. Psychoanal., 44(2):234-246.

(2008). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 44(2):234-246

The Mirror Crack'd: Dissociation and Reflexivity in Self and Group Phenomena

David W. Mann, M.D.

The human atom is the self; the human molecule, the relationship; the human substance, the group. I try here to show how reflexive processes generate each of these levels of the human system and integrate them one to another, while dissociative processes tend throughout to pull them apart. Health and illness within the self, the relationship or the group can be understood to be special states of the dynamic equilibria between these cohesive and dispersive trends. Both Janet's model of dissociation and that of Freud have a place in understanding these states. The move from a biological to a relational psychoanalysis replaces sexuality with empathy as the link between the individual and the group, as well as the province of both pathogenic and therapeutic action. Such a perspective brings psychoanalytic explanation into line with key findings from neurophysiology, supporting the recently resurrected Freudian project of a unitary theory of physiologic and psychological functioning.

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