Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To review The Language of Psycho-Analysis…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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

Lichtenberg, J.D. Pao, P. (1974). Delusion, Fantasy and Desire. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:273-281.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:273-281

Delusion, Fantasy and Desire

Joseph D. Lichtenberg and Ping-Nie Pao


We have attempted to conceptualize the relationship between a conscious desire expressed by a patient during a therapy session, a remembered latency period fantasy and a delusion experienced during a psychotic period. Based on our clinical material, we have offered a reappraisal of the function, structure, and genesis of delusion, fantasy and desire as metapsychological entities. A delusion, we suggest, forms during the period of childhood to give representation to significant traumata affecting the separation-individuation tasks. It functions to restore a basic sense of safety. Fantasying is a mental activity which provides a key to the understanding of the other contents. While fantasy is the testing ground wherein modes of satisfaction are tried out for their personal appeal, desire is the testing ground wherein concrete reality satisfactions are tried out for their attainability. Without fantasy, mental functioning would be mechanical and uncreative. Without conscious and preconscious desire, the full awareness of the self would not develop.

[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.