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Charles, M. (2001). The Outsider. Free Associations, 8(4):625-652.

(2001). Free Associations, 8(4):625-652

The Outsider

Marilyn Charles

For the ‘outsider’, the analytic enterprise becomes an opportunity to discover one's own truth within a protected environment in which the notions of ‘faith’ figure prominently. Many who stand outside have lost important aspects of self, in defence against the horror of feeling unloved and unwanted. The illusion of self-sufficiency masks the emotional reality of the individual's experience, becoming an intractable and lifeless ‘reality’. A case example is presented of a man who was ‘cast out’ in such a way, at the age of five, when his mother gave birth to her longed-for daughter. For this man, survival had lain in not-needing and not-feeling. The analytic space became a forum within which he was able to face his own terror and begin to re-find the self that had been cast aside decades before.

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