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Greer, J.G. (1994). “Return of the Repressed” in the Analysis of an Adult Incest Survivor: A Case Study and Some Tentative Generalizations. Psychoanal. Psychol., 11(4):545-561.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 11(4):545-561

“Return of the Repressed” in the Analysis of an Adult Incest Survivor: A Case Study and Some Tentative Generalizations

Joanne Marie G. Greer, Ph.D.

In this article, I take an overview of a completed psychoanalytic treatment of a survivor of maternal and paternal incest. I present some hypotheses about clinical process in treatment of incest sequelae and some clinical data that appear to validate them. To account for the unexpected resilience of the analysand, I reframe the analysand's overt psychopathology in terms of adaptive mechanisms developed in childhood when the analysand was pushed to the edge of psychic tolerance. I briefly describe some other similar cases and hypothesize a generalization that repression, dissociation, and associated symptomatology are adaptively useful to incest survivors. Connections are made to some recent theoretical and clinical literature.

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