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Fink, G. (1967). Analysis of the Isakower Phenomenon. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 15:281-293.

(1967). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15:281-293

Analysis of the Isakower Phenomenon

Geraldine Fink, M.D.


A patient has been presented who demonstrates twelve instances of the Isakower phenomenon. These experiences have been analyzed for psychoanalytic significance, form, and content. The hypothesis has been presented that the experience of the primal scene and the sight of the female genital are the psychological events which alone underlie and are essential to the experience of this phenomenon; that is, that it represents a regression from the primalscene experience. The patient's data fit this hypothesis, as do data gathered from the psychoanalytic literature. Further clinical data are needed to support, or weaken, the hypothesis, in its applicability to other instances of the analysis of the Isakower phenomenon.

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