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(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VII, 1959: Some Aspects of Masochistic Involvement. Gustav Bychowski. Pp. 248-273.. Psychoanal Q., 29:591-592.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VII, 1959: Some Aspects of Masochistic Involvement. Gustav Bychowski. Pp. 248-273.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:591-592

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VII, 1959: Some Aspects of Masochistic Involvement. Gustav Bychowski. Pp. 248-273.

Bychowski emphasizes the weakening impact of a distorted child-parent relationship upon all aspects of development of the ego of the masochist, from the early transactional patterns to the subsequent projection of internalized images onto external figures in adulthood. In identifying the serious 'narcissistic mortifications' prerequisite to the crucial ego weakness involved, he alludes to the rigid aggression and hostility encountered in some parents, but stresses more the early loss or impairment of a parent, or a severe crippling disease early in life. These factors stimulate excesses of need, rage, fear, and submission that impair ego progression. Out of this ego weakness results the masochistic bond to the object, which importantly includes 'ideas of permanent exchange': fantasies conceived by an angry, fearful child intensely aware of his weakness and hoping to remove this by establishing a permanent, give-and-take relationship with the parental figure. The conditions necessary to preserve this permanent bond are renunciation of autonomy and power, denial of aggression and revenge, and a decisive shift from activity to passivity. All these tendencies are attributed to the all-powerful and vengeful parent figure. The infantile wish to placate and seduce

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the parental image with helpless submission leads to secondary frustration, rage, and guilt. The repetitious enactment of this pattern fulfils the following aims: 1, to attract the object and undo the pain of separation; 2, to court real separation in counterphobic fashion, then ward it off; 3, to discharge aggression in covert fashion; 4, to provoke retaliatory hostility, guilt, and expiation.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VII, 1959. Psychoanal. Q., 29:591-592

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