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Grossmark, C. (2017). Candidates’ Responses to Sexual Boundary Violations. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(1):79-88.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(1):79-88

Candidates’ Responses to Sexual Boundary Violations

Carina Grossmark, Ph.D.

This paper addresses the subtle and not-so-subtle power that sexual boundary violations have on the candidates within psychoanalytic institutes. The unspoken leaves things shrouded in secrecy, generating powerful feelings in candidates. Multiple psychological responses, including splitting, envy, and paranoia, along with reactions that range from the sanctimonious to the apathetic, are explored. I address how elusive boundary violations can be and the multiple forms they can take (physical/sexual and nonsexual). I examine some of the reasons for a resulting generalized passivity in both faculty and candidates, including the evocation of early conflicts centered on primal scene and oedipal anxieties and reflect on the ongoing difficulties of finding a personal voice as a candidate.

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