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Gediman, H.K. (1985). Imposture, Inauthenticity, and Feeling Fraudulent. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 33:911-935.

(1985). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 33:911-935

Imposture, Inauthenticity, and Feeling Fraudulent

Helen K. Gediman, Ph.D.


This paper deals with imposturous tendencies as ubiquitous and heterogeneous. They may enter into neurotic conflict and compromise, and also reflect an ego function disturbance involving multiple, shifting identities and subsequent problems in the subjective sense of reality of the self and objects. Imposture in a person undergoing analysis is, however, not only a function of individual character and psychopathology; it is also a function of certain inevitable requirements of the analytic situation which constitute a "pull" for its emergence. Vulnerable individuals will respond to this pull in revealing ways. Three case summaries illustrate the spectrum of imposturous tendencies.

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