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Tarachow, S. (1952). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: The Role of 'Displacement' in Agoraphobia. Anny Katan. Pp. 41–50.. Psychoanal Q., 21:579.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: The Role of 'Displacement' in Agoraphobia. Anny Katan. Pp. 41–50.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:579

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951: The Role of 'Displacement' in Agoraphobia. Anny Katan. Pp. 41–50.

Sidney Tarachow

Oedipal tendencies are not abandoned during the infantile Oedipal period; they are abandoned at puberty and then only if the mechanism of displacement works successfully. Katan suggests a new term—'removal'—for normal, successful displacement, as against neurotic, agoraphobic displacement. Removal is the process by which interest is removed from incestuous objects and attached to outside objects. This is the acquisition of the ability to really fall in love with a concomitant relinquishment of incestuous objects. In neurotic displacement, incestuous features are retained. The patient still seeks the incestuous object (in the street) and then defends himself against it by anxiety. Thus agoraphobic anxiety replaces fear of incest. The critical point in interpretation is to help the patient see that his tenacious need for his phobia is a defense against retracing the path of his feelings back to incestuous objects.

In agoraphobic displacement the repressed incest wish incessantly returns in the defense mechanism itself. The agoraphobic patient replaces the incestuous object by strangers in the street, prostitution fantasies, or occasionally by real prostitution. The patient then seeks reassurance against anxiety, often precisely from objects onto whom incestuous wishes have been displaced and who are the sources of the anxiety. Katan gives clinical illustrations. In one case there was deceptive normality in a girl who fell in love and refused to continue treatment for fear (as Katan learned later) of facing the unresolved incestuous feelings which had been displaced onto a new object. In another case the street phobia was a defense against an incestuous search for father in the streets. In another example, fear of bridges was a reliving of an anally gratifying experience at the hands of father who had angrily beaten her in her crib when he found her witnessing parental intercourse.

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Article Citation

Tarachow, S. (1952). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXII, 1951. Psychoanal. Q., 21:579

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