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Mahony, P.J. (1989). Aspects of Nonperverse Scopophilia Within an Analysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:365-399.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:365-399

Aspects of Nonperverse Scopophilia Within an Analysis

Patrick J. Mahony, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT

This essay is intended to contribute to the increasing importance ascribed to scopophilia in modern psychoanalytic literature. The exceptional position of scopophilia is twofold: by virtue of its subdivisions, voyeurism and exhibitionism, it constitutes one of the two pairs of component drives recognized by Freud; and it informs one of the two major perceptual avenues that comprise communication in the analytic setting. A case is presented which shows how the psychic life of a female patient was dominated by a nonperverse scopophilia in a remarkable variety of ways, ranging from hyperinvestment to inhibition and phobic curtailment. The case is equally noteworthy for the way in which these various phenomena were reenacted in the transference and in the particular visual character of the analytic scene; thus the patient's optical focal symbiosis and ophidiophobia are related to what I call the analyst's "retro presence."

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