Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see author affiliation information in an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To see author affiliation and contact information (as available) in an article, simply click on the Information icon next to the author’s name in every journal article.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Williams, P. (2014). Orientations of Psychotic Activity in Defensive Pathological Organizations. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(3):423-440.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(3):423-440

Psychoanalytic Theory & Technique

Orientations of Psychotic Activity in Defensive Pathological Organizations Language Translation

Paul Williams

(Accepted for publication 12 July 2013)

The author reviews some clinical experiences of the treatment of personality disordered patients suffering from internal domination of ego functioning by a defensive pathological organization. In particular, the function and purpose of perverse, sadistic attacks by the organization on the ego are considered and questions pertaining to technique are raised. It is suggested that different forms of sadistic, subjugating activity by pathological organizations may denote differences in intent borne of the type and severity of the psychopathology of the individual. Patients with severe narcissistic psychopathology for whom object contact has become associated with the arousal of intense psychotic anxieties seem more likely to be subjected to an invasive, annihilatory imperative by the pathological organization, the purpose of which appears to be to obliterate the experience of contact with any differentiated object, to avoid emotion and to use coercion to enforce a primitive identification by the ego with the psychotic organization in the mind. Certain patients with less severe narcissistic psychopathology, yet for whom object contact can also be associated with the arousal of psychotic anxieties due to intense or persistent conflict with the object, sometimes expressed as organized sadomasochistic clinging to a punishing and punished object (for example, in certain borderline or depressed patients) exhibit sadistic attacks that serve less to annihilate object contact and more to intrusively control and punish the object. Observations of these phenomena have been made by a number of psychoanalysts in recent decades and these contributions are discussed. This paper is addressed primarily to the implications for technique with such patients, particularly a need for triangulation of their experiences of oppression in order to loosen the controls over the ego by the pathological organization.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.