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Nicolò, A.M. (2013). Couples and Perversion. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 3(1):15-27.

(2013). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 3(1):15-27

Couples and Perversion

Anna Maria Nicolò

In this paper I describe clinical cases that have allowed me to reflect on the functioning of perverse couples. First of all, I distinguish the polymorphous functioning present in normal couples from that present in perverse couples. In the latter, I observe that the fact that these couples ask for treatment shows an ego-dystonic aspect of the pathology that is different from “proper” perversion.

The fact that these couples were married differentiates them from perverse patients who, in analysis, show great difficulty in maintaining a stable link. This suggests that perverse couples are more accessible to therapy. I have therefore hypothesised that perversion in a couple has an underlying shared functioning, even if only one partner shows the proper symptoms. I also suggest that a perverse link in a couple can defend them from breakdown and help them avoid awareness of having a devalued and rejected body.

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