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Traub-Werner, D. (1990). Affect Deficit: A Vicissitude of the Phenomenon and Experience of Affect. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:141-150.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:141-150

Affect Deficit: A Vicissitude of the Phenomenon and Experience of Affect

Daniel Traub-Werner


Certain people are unable to discriminate, integrate and regulate their affective experience and their experience of pain. This disorder is related to alexithymia, la pensée operatoire and the dis-affected condition. Affect is best understood when a distinction is made between its somatic emergence and its subjective experience. The two patients described here were unable to provide language, mnemic symbol or associative meaning to their affective experiences. Their analyses revealed long histories of denial, disavowal and metaphorization of their somatic perceptions. The lack of validation of their somatic experiences contributed to their affect deficit condition. From a metapsychological perspective it is here hypothesized that in the above condition the body ego remains partially unintegrated from the sphere of the ego.

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