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Filippini, S. (2005). Perverse relationships: The perspective of the perpetrator. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):755-773.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(3):755-773

Perverse relationships: The perspective of the perpetrator

Sandra Filippini

The author examines the theme of perverse relationships within the couple, focusing on the question of men's maltreatment of their female partners, particularly in the psychological sense. Various aspects of the perpetrator's personality and relational style are described. The author takes as her starting point and discusses in depth the concepts of ‘narcissistic perversion(Racamier, 1992) and ‘relational perversion(Pandolfi, 1999), considered useful for understanding and identifying this type of pathology. She postulates that maltreating behaviour, in fact, originates from the encounter of particularly non-empathic relational styles which are typical of certain personalities (mainly, but not exclusively, of the narcissistic disorder) with ‘perversity’, that is, perversion, understood as a character trait. The author makes a distinction between ‘relational perversion’ and ‘sado-masochistic relationship’, and presents a clinical picture deriving from the analysis of a man who maltreats his companion, in order to shed light on the above-mentioned aspects, touching on some problems arising in the analysis of such patients. In conclusion, she considers some aspects of the experience of victims of maltreatment.

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