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Feldman, M. (2008). Grievance: The Underlying Oedipal Configuration. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(4):743-758.

(2008). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 89(4):743-758

Grievance: The Underlying Oedipal Configuration Language Translation

Michael Feldman

In this paper the author describes some of the clinical features encountered in patients who seem to ‘nurture’ a persistent grievance. He gives clinical examples, and discusses the nature of the powerful underlying dynamics. He suggests that contained within the patient's grievance is a set of phantasies that constitute the expression of his fear and hatred of reality, particularly the reality of the oedipal situation, the child's relationship to the creative parental couple, which Money-Kyrle (1968, 1971) has characterised as an essential element of ‘the facts of life’. The phantasies the patient has evolved serve to protect him from envy and jealousy, anxiety and guilt. The primitive oedipal phantasies on which the grievance rests also contribute to the excitement and gratification that are characteristic of the grievance. The analysis of the underlying state of mind helps to account for the persistent grip the grievance has on the patient, and the way this interferes with development.

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