Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To search for a specific phrase…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Did you write an article’s title and the article did not appear in the search results? Or do you want to find a specific phrase within the article? Go to the Search section and write the title or phrase surrounded by quotations marks in the “Search for Words or Phrases in Context” area.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Shapiro, L.N. (1992). Masochism: Current Psychoanalytic Perspectives: Edited by Robert Glick and Donald I. Meyers. Hillsdale, N. J.: Analytic Press, 1988, 238 pp., $29.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:853-856.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:853-856

Masochism: Current Psychoanalytic Perspectives: Edited by Robert Glick and Donald I. Meyers. Hillsdale, N. J.: Analytic Press, 1988, 238 pp., $29.95.

Review by:
Leon N. Shapiro, M.D.

Freud (1924) gave the dual instinct theory a wonderful explanatory simplicity when he redefined masochism as a primary aspect of the death instinct. However much its meaning has changed since then, masochism retains its instinctual flavor. It traces our various self-defeating behaviors to biological givens, and makes it possible to categorize these behaviors along a continuum, depending on admixtures of love and hate. Although it was originally used by R. Krafft-Ebing to denote the perversion of seeking pleasure through pain, the term masochism has since been used and misused to describe almost anything that someone does that seems to be against his or her interest.

But drive-related terminology (e.g., sadism, masochism, libidinal cathexis) seems awkward when applied to developments in ego psychology and more recent concerns with self-esteem regulation and object relations. Our technical and theoretical concerns have shifted toward the analysis of resistance and transference phenomena with increasing study of the two-person analytic process. While we still try to help our patients to come to terms with the fundamental irrationality of human experience, we spend less time discovering the irrational than helping them to bear it. As we change our emphasis and increase our understanding of the formidable complexity of the analytic enterprise, much of the drive-related language seems both archaic and reductionistic and tends to fall into disuse. It is timely then to reexamine its utility.

Masochism: Current Psychoanalytic Perspectives presents papers from a 1983 conference on the difficult character.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.