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Gilmore, M.M. (2000). Discussion. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(3):400-406.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(3):400-406


Margaret M. Gilmore, M.D.

Assuredly I am speaking for all of us in thanking Dr. Rudden for her very interesting and lucid case presentation. She has certainly made my job as a discussant an easy one. I would also like to commend both her and her patient their remarkably successful analytic work in the face of considerable emotional demands.

The case of Ms. A presents us with a plethora of rich, analytic fantasies which have been associated classically with female psychosexual development. These fantasies include that of the primal scene, the phallic woman, the prostitute, the devalued castrated woman, the sadomasochistic heterosexual relationship, and the gratifying and timeless homosexual relationship. For example, I am noting Ms. A's intense anxiety about being watched during auditions; her surreptitious observations of the analyst during analysis; her recall of the “open bedroom door policy” as well as her masturbation fantasy of having sex with her mother while her father looks on as derivatives of primal scene fantasies. Or we can see Ms. A's fascination with the Star Trek woman who is powerful, self-sufficient and doesn't need a man as a derivative of the phallic woman fantasy. Ms. A's devaluation of “weak Bloomingdale's” women dependent upon men to whom they are tied by financial need could be interpreted not only as a derivative of the fantasy of the castrated woman but also as a contribution to a prostitution fantasy. There is evidence to link impulsive shoplifting with an angry wish to steal something from a man (penis envy?). There is the existence of conscious homosexual masturbation fantasies and an intense homosexual transference in a heterosexual woman. And there is the question of the role of the baby in female psychosexual development. All in all there is much to discuss.

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