Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To go directly to an article using its bibliographical details…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you know the bibliographic details of a journal article, use the Journal Section to find it quickly. First, find and click on the Journal where the article was published in the Journal tab on the home page. Then, click on the year of publication. Finally, look for the author’s name or the title of the article in the table of contents and click on it to see the article.

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

Wurmser, L. (2015). Primary Shame, Mortal Wound and Tragic Circularity: Some New Reflections on Shame and Shame Conflicts. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(6):1615-1634.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(6):1615-1634

Primary Shame, Mortal Wound and Tragic Circularity: Some New Reflections on Shame and Shame Conflicts Language Translation

Léon Wurmser, M.D.

Invited to contribute some thoughts on recent developments in psychoanalytic thinking about shame, the author starts off with Aristotle's prescient analysis of shame and then focuses on accumulating experiences in the psychoanalytic treatment of patients with severe neuroses, in particular the close relationship of severe traumatization and chronic states of shame, and how this is reflected in shelfdestructive repetitions. Reminiscent of what we know from tragedy and the tragic dimension of human existence, this repetition compulsion shows a built-in circularity. These circular dynamics have at their core struggles with deep woundedness that can variably be conceived of as primary pain, primary shame and primary anxiety.

Consequently, throughout the experiences with these patients goes the absoluteness both of their conscience and of their ideal, what we know as the “archaic superego:”

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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.