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Glasser, M. (1998). On Violence: A Preliminary Communication. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 79:887-902.

(1998). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 79:887-902

On Violence: A Preliminary Communication

Mervin Glasser

The author argues that although aggression is a central feature of psychoanalytic theory and clinical thinking, little attention has been given by psychoanalysts to the matter of violence. Manifest violence is heterogeneous and an adequate understanding of it would involve a multi-disciplinary approach. The author focuses on consideration of a psychoanalytic contribution to this understanding. From this point of view all acts of violence may be characterised as one of two types, or a combination of them, namely self-preservative violence and sado-masochistic violence. These are characterised and differentiated; and the relationship between the two is considered, while use is made of clinical material. The issue of ‘violence in the transference’ is illustrated and briefly discussed.

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