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Sandler, J. (1983). An Instance of "Displacement from Above Downward" in a Congenitally Blind Child. Psychoanal. St. Child, 38:429-438.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 38:429-438

An Instance of "Displacement from Above Downward" in a Congenitally Blind Child

Joseph Sandler, Ph.D.

IN DESCRIBING THE ROLE OF DISPLACEMENT OF SENSATION from the genitals to the lips in the case of Dora, Freud (1905p. 30) wrote:

I believe that during the man's passionate embrace she felt not merely his kiss upon her lips but also the pressure of his erect member against her body. This perception was revolting to her; it was dismissed from her memory, repressed, and replaced by the innocent sensation of pressure upon her thorax, which in turn derived an excessive intensity from its repressed source. Once more, therefore, we find a displacement from the lower part of the body to the upper.

[Freud then comments in a footnote:] The occurrence of displacements of this kind has not been assumed for the purpose of this single explanation; the assumption has proved indispensable for the explanation of a large class of symptoms.

A similar displacement from the lower to the upper part of the body has been described by Dorothy Burlingham (1940p. 268f.) in the case of blind child:


From the Sigmund Freud Center for Study and Research in Psychoanalysis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Anat Flug is a psychologist on the staff of Eitanim Hospital, Jerusalem, and Joseph Sandler is Sigmund Freud Professor of Psychoanalysis at the Hebrew University.

Copyright © 1983 Anat Flug and Joseph Sandler.

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