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Berezin, M.A. (1964). Comment on Miss Bicudo's Paper. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 45:363-365.

(1964). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 45:363-365

Comment on Miss Bicudo's Paper

Martin A. Berezin

Miss Bicudo's paper rests its entire theoretical ideas on Melanie Klein's concepts, and since I am not a Kleinian, it is difficult for me to conceptualize the data in her terms. What is helpful is the inclusion of some very brief clinical material to which I shall return later. It is not my intention to offer a critique of Kleinian theories, as has been done by Bibring (1947). I expect, however, that I shall have to raise serious questions about some of Bicudo's points with special reference to methodology. I shall confine myself to some of those explicitly stated in her paper.

A central assumption which appears early in the paper is that guilt is experienced as persecution. From the clinical material this inference is not too clear. I am aware that Bicudo explains this conversion of guilt to persecution through the mechanism of projective identification and, she adds, the patient was 'obliged to carry a guilt which he should not carry but which belongs to the object'. I am not sure whether Bicudo means that her patient did not experience guilt as guilt—or whether patients in general may not experience persecution as persecution, as a feeling and ideational experience, for it seems to me that patients do have such affective and ideational experiences.

To turn to the clinical material. It will be recalled that patient X had an angry outburst from which I give some verbatim extracts. 'My mother gets everything without any effort on her part and without feeling guilty.

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