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Searl, N. (1935). Clinical: Helene Deutsch. 'ber einer Typus des Pseudoaffektivit├Ąt ("Als ob").' Internationale Zeitschrift f├╝r Psychoanalyse, 1934, Bd. XX, p. 323.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 16:371-372.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Clinical: Helene Deutsch. 'ber einer Typus des Pseudoaffektivität ("Als ob").' Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1934, Bd. XX, p. 323.

(1935). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 16:371-372

Clinical: Helene Deutsch. 'ber einer Typus des Pseudoaffektivität ("Als ob").' Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1934, Bd. XX, p. 323.

Nina Searl

The patients whom Dr. Helene Deutsch calls 'as if' people have an apparently normal attitude to life. They shew to ordinary observation—and themselves feel—no lack in their affective life. They are intellectually and artistically gifted and productive though without any trace of originality. They very readily identify with and adapt to other people while in their company, are both passive and plastic to their environment; and hence lack both true personality and character. Prolonged or more acute observation leaves the impression that there is something strange, something not quite as it should be about these people. They feel and act 'as if' they were another person, with close mental mimicry, giving an apparently good adaptation to the reality world in spite of faulty affective object relation. In this they are distinguishable from the hysteric whose object relations precede identification. They probably account for many criminal actions carried out by persons quite without criminal tendencies, their passive and automatic identifications giving a high rate of suggestibility. Two case histories support the impression of an inner schizophrenic structure despite the practically successful restitution processes. The 'as if' person or phase differs from the melancholic by the position of both object and super-ego in the outer world and by identification with them there, achieving freedom from conflict as well as a relation to reality by impoverishment which cannot be called psychotic, however near to it in inner structure. The restitution process of the schizophrenic creates a delusional instead of the 'as if real' world of the patients described. Material from two schizophrenic patients suggests that schizophrenics pass through an 'as if' phase before the delusional formation. The distinction between 'as if' and narcissistic people lies in the former's imitation of affect instead of the latter's freedom from affect as an advantage,


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giving narcissistic satisfaction. Depersonalization seems to be always accompanied by increased self-observation and corresponding emphasis on the defect compared with the 'as if' person's lack of awareness.

With regard to therapeutics, Dr. Deutsch says the effect of the analytical process is almost zero, though the practical result can be very far-reaching through active use of the patient's strong identification with the analyst.


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Article Citation

Searl, N. (1935). Clinical. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 16:371-372

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.