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Barrows, P. (1995). Oedipal Issues at 4 and 44. Psychoanal. Psychother., 9(1):85-96.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9(1):85-96

Oedipal Issues at 4 and 44

Paul Barrows

In this paper I suggest that the way in which the Oedipal situation is negotiated is fundamentally determined by the internal orientation of the patient towards the issue of knowledge — in particular, knowledge of the existence of the parental couple. Material is brought from two female patients — one 4 and the other 44 — to illustrate this point, and the parallells that exist despite the difference of age and the consequent different form that the material takes. I also illustrate the particular use made of the defences of omniscience and disavowal in both cases, and the changes that took place in this regard through the therapeutic process.

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