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Mauss-Hanke, A. (2013). Reflections on the Gender of Violence. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 94(6):1198-1200.

(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(6):1198-1200

Reflections on the Gender of Violence

Angela Mauss-Hanke

This COWAP panel chaired by Frances Thomson-Salo (Melbourne) explored reflections on the gender of violence and degrees of facing pain when trust is killed. It included papers given by Carine Minne (London) on infanticide by a 19 year-old mother, by Timothy Keogh (Sydney) on perverse sexual behaviour of a male patient and by Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp (Kassel) on processing World War II childhood trauma by female German analysts. The papers were presented to a small but very attentive audience.

In her paper Infanticide, matricide, suicide: Toward a psychoanalytic understanding of a murder, Minne presented the long psychoanalytic treatment of a very disturbed young woman who killed her baby by feeding her with the medicine that she, the mother, had been supposed to take. Minne emphasized the two-stage [zweizeitig] traumatic background of disturbed perpetrators like her patient who have been seriously violent: the first is of course the often heavily traumatizing milieu in which they grew up as children with all the destructive consequences upon their lives and minds. In the second stage we find the offences they have committed as they come to grasp what they have done which can also include becoming distressed by their gradual discovery, through treatment, of having a mental disorder.

Minne illustrated how these insights may lead to the development of symptomatology reminiscent of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder during the course of treatment. In the case she presented her patient was furthermore sometimes overwhelmed by the care she received during her psychiatric admission and the reliable attention she got from her therapist.

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