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Goldberg, P. (2004). Fabricated bodies: A model for the somatic false self. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(4):823-840.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(4):823-840

Fabricated bodies: A model for the somatic false self

Peter Goldberg

This paper draws attention to a particular use of the body, one in which basic psychical security is achieved through a radical detachment from body vitality, necessitating the creation of a coercive regime of psychosomatic control and auto-stimulation for purposes of artificial enlivenment of the self. When the personality is organized predominantly along the lines of a systematic dissociation (and then pseudo-integration) of the mental and the somatic realms of psychical life, the psyche-soma undergoes a far-reaching transmutation: the desiring body is eclipsed and replaced with a fabricated body. Clinical observation of this set-up is obscured by the fact that, in these cases, the body is deployed in a ‘realistic’ manner, rather than in a recognizably symptomatic way. It is, indeed, the hallmark of a successful somatic false-self organization that the colonization of the body is disguised as natural, ego-syntonic and compatible with social norms. The treatment approach requires a broadening of analytic attention to apprehend shifts in states of consciousness and psychophysical cues.

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