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Tallent, M.A. (2002). The Fear of Invasion in a Preoedipal Patient. Mod. Psychoanal., 27(2):289-313.

(2002). Modern Psychoanalysis, 27(2):289-313

The Fear of Invasion in a Preoedipal Patient

Marc A. Tallent, Ph.D.

The concerns about invasion of a 30-year-old male in psychoanalytic treatment manifested themselves primarily through his ambivalence about entering into and sustaining intimate relationships. In the transference, his concerns with invasion expressed themselves through his use of the contact function: he was generally self-absorbed but occasionally contacted the analyst in a highly intrusive, aggressive manner. He induced two complementary countertransferential feelings: that the patient would experience contact by the analyst as invasive and harmful, or that the analyst was in danger of being invaded and harmed by the patient. The patient's concerns with invasion expressed themselves in four main ways: the desire to be passive, the desire to be penetrated, the impulse to engage in sadomasochistic interactions, and the desire to merge with the object into a boundariless state. All four manifestations were thematically related in that they served to defend against conscious awareness of aggressive impulses. Analysis of the patient's use of the contact function supported the modern psychoanalytic theory of the technique of resolving the narcissistic defense: intervening primarily in response to the patient's contacts facilitated progressive communication.

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