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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

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Donner, M.B. (2006). Tearing the Child Apart: The Contribution of Narcissism, Envy, and Perverse Modes of Thought to Child Custody Wars. Psychoanal. Psychol., 23(3):542-553.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 23(3):542-553

Tearing the Child Apart: The Contribution of Narcissism, Envy, and Perverse Modes of Thought to Child Custody Wars

Michael B. Donner, Ph.D.

This article takes a psychoanalytic approach to questions usually considered to be matters of the family court system. The psychological effects of high-conflict divorce on children are well known, but what motivates their parents is less understood. Pathological narcissism, pathological envy, disavowal, and a perverse attitude toward reality can produce unending conflicts over visitation and custody. Fighting over seemingly insignificant matters can manage aggression and ward off psychic collapse. These families are frequently referred to copa-renting counseling or psychoeducational groups; however, the author proposes that psychoanalytically oriented treatment can best address these parents' unconscious wishes to damage or destroy their own children and the perverse character structure that enables parents to negate their roles in tearing their children apart.

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