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Frances, A. Dunn, P. (1975). The Attachment–Autonomy Conflict in Agoraphobia. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 56:435-439.

(1975). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 56:435-439

The Attachment–Autonomy Conflict in Agoraphobia

Allen Frances and Peter Dunn


This paper presents an object relations and interpersonal model of agoraphobia. The movement

through space of the intant is an initial vital arena of separation anxiety and self–object differentiation. The adult agoraphobic (and the school phobic) are often using a similar territorial language to symbolize attachmentautonomy conflict. The agoraphobic experiences this conflict in relation to his phobic companion. The agoraphobic–companion dyad may be on various ascending levels of differentiation—psychotic symbiotic, narcissistic or differentiated dependent. Inanimate objects and transitional objects may, at times, become phobic companions.

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