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Bouman, E. (2018). Humor: Tussen afweer en verdieping. Tijdschr. Psychoanal., 24(4):266-277.

(2018). Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse, 24(4):266-277

Humor: Tussen afweer en verdieping

Edwin Bouman


Humour: Between defence and the deepening of intimacy

In spite of the difficulty of establishing the essence of humoristic interplay between analyst and patient because of the specific relational context in which it occurs and develops, the author ventures to describe some aspects of the use of humour in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy from both a theoretical and clinical perspective. There is a good deal of ambivalence around humour in psychoanalysis, which can hardly be understood from Freud's perspective on the subject. This paper examines some of the developments in the field. From several clinical examples on different aspects of the subject, the author makes a case for allowing humour its place, while being aware of the ever-present defensive elements of the double-edged sword one is dealing with.

Keywords: deepening, defence, humour, jokes, intimacy

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