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Tip: To review The Language of Psycho-Analysis…

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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Bonomi, C. (2002). Identification with the Aggressor—An Interactive Tactic or an Intrapsychic Tomb? Commentary on Paper by Jay Frankel. Psychoanal. Dial., 12(1):153-158.

(2002). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 12(1):153-158

Identification with the Aggressor—An Interactive Tactic or an Intrapsychic Tomb? Commentary on Paper by Jay Frankel Related Papers

Carlo Bonomi, Ph.D.

In Ferenczi's idea of identification with an aggressor we can distinguish two sides. One is what we might call an interactive tactic or a social strategy, which is used in upsetting or unbalanced relations of power in order to forestall lack of control, fear, and the like. This is the side that is explored in great detail by Jay Frankel. The other side consists in a intrapsychic change, which flows from severe trauma. The specific effects of the latter are described by Ferenczi as dissociation/fragmentation of the personality, sequestering of the trauma, emotional abandonment, and isolation. Elsewhere, Ferenczi refers to this as a form of psychic self-mutilation.

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