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Hoefel, L.O. (2013). Vicissitudes of psychic pain as a structuring matrix for mental growth. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 22(2):108-118.

(2013). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 22(2):108-118

Vicissitudes of psychic pain as a structuring matrix for mental growth

Luiza Olga Luderitz Hoefel


The intention of the author is to further the knowledge on pain, based on a review of the concept of psychic pain as found in Freud, Klein, Bion, and French authors, with the objective of clarifying as far as possible the nature and vicissitudes of pain. After this review, the author describes a case in which she proposes that psychic pain is made up of three essential elements: the first is the overflowing of great quantities that cannot be contained; the second is an intense and immediate defense to protect the psychic apparatus from destruction; and the third is the “return of the foreclosed.” At the end of the paper, the author makes her final, subjective considerations.

[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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