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Jeffrey, W.D. (1992). The Psychoanalytic Review. LXXVII, 1990: The Homeostatic and the Representational Function of the Symbolic Process; with Reference to the "Rat Man's" Obsessive Ideation (1964). Susan Deri. Pp. 525-534.. Psychoanal Q., 61:684-685.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Review. LXXVII, 1990: The Homeostatic and the Representational Function of the Symbolic Process; with Reference to the "Rat Man's" Obsessive Ideation (1964). Susan Deri. Pp. 525-534.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:684-685

The Psychoanalytic Review. LXXVII, 1990: The Homeostatic and the Representational Function of the Symbolic Process; with Reference to the "Rat Man's" Obsessive Ideation (1964). Susan Deri. Pp. 525-534.

William D. Jeffrey

Beginning with Jones, analysts have considered only the pathological aspect of symbol formation. This focus is too narrow, according to Deri, and separates analysis from the disciplines of developmental psychology, philosophy, and aesthetics. Using a wider view, she examines the formal structure of the dynamics of symbolization—the method by which mental structures necessary for mental energy transformation and delay are formed. Symbols are a bridge between different, disparate regions of the mind, bringing order out of chaos by establishing delineated structures.

Deri attempts to understand the "Rat Man's" speech as a distortion of the normal symbolic process. The "Rat Man's" problems stem from 1) early sexual stimulation, 2) fixation at the level of infantile omnipotence, 3) intense and defused sadistic impulses, and 4) limited object libido. She concludes, "The pathological intensity


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and aim of the instincts destroy the formal articulation of the total field required for the performance of unimpaired symbolization."


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Article Citation

Jeffrey, W.D. (1992). The Psychoanalytic Review. LXXVII, 1990. Psychoanal. Q., 61:684-685

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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.