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Feldman, M. (1990). Common Ground: The Centrality of the Oedipus Complex. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:37-48.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:37-48

Common Ground: The Centrality of the Oedipus Complex

Michael Feldman


An attempt is made to relate the severe restriction in the patient's life and in her mode of functioning within a long and difficult analysis to the internalization of, and partial identification with, primitive and damaged versions of the parental couple, which she experienced as threatened by, and hostile towards any form of vitality or creativity.

When the expression of these more disturbing versions of the oedipal configuration could be recognized, tolerated and interpreted within the sessions, the patient's longings, jealousy and sexual wishes indicative of a more mature Oedipus complex became more readily available. This change was manifested in a different quality to the transference and in the way the patient became better able to integrate and use her own intellectual and emotional resources.

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