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Brenman, E. (1982). Separation: A Clinical Problem. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 63:303-310.

(1982). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 63:303-310

Separation: A Clinical Problem

Eric Brenman


The paper deals with problems of separation in clinical practice. Various defences are outlined, such as indulgence in loveless sexuality, overeating, excessive intrusiveness, idealizations and paranoid grievances as means of avoiding separation anxiety. The main part of the paper deals with the avoidance of awareness of separation both in and out of the session in a case of clinical depression. An attempt is made to show how the patient arranges for others in his

life, including his analyst, to experience the pain of separation. The patient also contended that his objects and analyst could not cope with separation and used omnipotent defences that the patient was intent on exposing. The aim of the paper is to show how the analyst might deal with this problem in clinical practice.

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