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Kogan, I. (1990). A Journey to Pain. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:629-640.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:629-640

A Journey to Pain

Ilany Kogan


This paper explored the restoration of the capacity to feel pain and guilt as a result of the emotional experience in analysis. This was illustrated by the first part of an analysis of a woman who lost her four-month-old baby in a car accident. Analysis revealed in this case a fragmented self unable to deal with unbearable feelings of pain and guilt which threatened to annihilate it. She connected the accident to a series of events which appeared to her to be the realization of her aggressive wishes towards primary objects throughout her life. The perception of the impairment and loss of loved

objects as due to her destructiveness led to the inability to differentiate self from object, the impairment in the work of mourning, and aggression turned against the self. The analyst's survival of the destructive attack without retaliation enabled the differentiation, a better adaptation to reality and the restoration of the capacity to feel pain and guilt.

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