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Tip: To sort articles by sourceā€¦

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

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Dewald, P.A. (1995). The Misuse Of Persons: Analyzing Pathological Dependency. By Stanley J. Coen. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1992, 341 pp., $43.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:1216-1219.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:1216-1219

The Misuse Of Persons: Analyzing Pathological Dependency. By Stanley J. Coen. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1992, 341 pp., $43.95.

Review by:
Paul A. Dewald

This book addresses the complex clinical and theoretical issues of analytic work with patients whose pathological dependency causes them to repeat self-defeating and destructive behavior patterns toward the analysis and the analyst. Work with this group of patients taxes the analyst's skill and tolerance, and frequently includes impasses and less-than-satisfactory outcomes.

Coen writes from the perspective of traditional psychoanalytic conflict theory integrated with an object relations perspective, so that for him drive and object relations fit together as a single entity. He describes both an intrapsychic and interpersonal perspective, emphasizing also that “interpersonal is to be understood in relation to intrapsychic. To a degree they cannot be separated and must at the same time be separated; that is, what goes on within our minds and between ourselves and others are parts of a whole” (p. 11).

Coen defines pathological dependency as “the felt inability to manage on one's own and to be alone” (p. 13). Further:

The pathologically dependent person's fears of rage and destructiveness, in himself and in his vitally needed other, are so central to his conflicts … that multiple feelings and wishes are subsumed under rage and destructiveness including varying intensities of angry and hurtful wishes. The most frightening of these usually are those that most threaten to destroy the other or the relationship with the other. The more vitally one needs the other, the more dangerous rage and destructiveness become [p.

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