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Kirshner, L.A. (1998). Problems in Falling in Love. Psychoanal Q., 67(3):407-425.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(3):407-425

Problems in Falling in Love

Lewis A. Kirshner, M.D.

Certain patients enter psychoanalysis because of their inability to love another person. Often they report a repetitive erotic pursuit of desired partners, without being able to experience or maintain loving feelings. Kernberg has understood such difficulties as representing effects of early narcissistic disappointments and/or of difficulties in resolving oedipal conflicts. In this paper, Lacanian concepts of the mirror phase and symbolic love are employed to develop these issues. Sexualization of problems in mirroring may be fused with oedipal conflicts in some cases. An extended vignette is presented to illustrate the technical and theoretical issues.

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