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Meyer, J. Maletic, V. (1991). The Clinical and Theoretical Structures of Adult Phobias. Psychoanal. Inq., 11(3):333-350.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 11(3):333-350

The Clinical and Theoretical Structures of Adult Phobias

Jon K. Meyer, M.D. and Vladimir Maletic, M.D.

Among the challenges of writing on phobias is the fact that these conditions are among the most dramatic yet commonplace symptoms in psychoanalysis. Everyone has seen or treated someone with a phobia. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to link the commonplace with the clinically trivial. In certain respects, it is as though familiarity has bred contempt. An association of prevalence with simplicity, however, is an assumption that is not justified by the complexity of phobic neuroses or the difficulty in bringing them to a satisfactory resolution.

Along these lines, while phobic symptomatology received prominent mention in Freud's earliest psychoanalytic writings (1894, 1895a, b; Solms, 1989), its complexity and clinical significance was not recognized.

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