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Kogan, I. (1989). The Search for the Self. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:661-671.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:661-671

The Search for the Self

Ilany Kogan


In this paper, I attempted to illustrate the process of separation and growth in the third analysis of a Holocaust survivor's daughter. The first phase of analysis began by working through her externalization of the past by means of acting out. Her encounter with death allowed a re-activation and re-working of sado-masochistic fantasies, making her aware of an additional facet of the Holocaust, namely its defensive aspect. The working through of feelings of mourning and guilt facilitated differentiation from the burden of her father's past. The second part of the analysis dealt with furthering the process of growth by working through separation from her mother. Differentiation from primary objects' representations, which enabled her to marry and become a mother herself, was made possible through the analytic experience. An 'interminable' analysis thus came to an end.

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