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Blum, H.P. (1991). Sadomasochism in the Psychoanalytic Process, Within and Beyond the Pleasure Principle: Discussion. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 39:431-450.

(1991). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 39:431-450

Sadomasochism in the Psychoanalytic Process, Within and Beyond the Pleasure Principle: Discussion

Harold P. Blum, M.D.

THIS SYMPOSIUM PERMITTED an in-depth exploration and discussion of the profound problems of sadism and masochism, inside and outside the psychoanalytic process. Sadism and masochism have puzzled analysts from Freud onward, and the concepts still remain not only elusive but, in many respects, mysterious. These concepts have generally changed in conjunction with the development of psychoanalytic theory. We have had excellent recent papers, e.g., by Maleson (1984), Grossman (1986), and Novick and Novick (1987) and books (i.e., Glick & Myers, 1988) as well as earlier papers which are classics on the topic by Brenman (1957), Brenner (1957), and Loewenstein (1957), to name just a few. The symposium papers highlighted what we have learned and how many perplexing issues remain. Profound questions persist: Do we really know what we are talking about? Have we been talking the same language? And has the psychoanalytic discussion been related to often different domains of discourse, different levels of abstraction, and even different frameworks and models of the mind?

Sadomasochism is a very stimulating subject for authors, audience, and readers.

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