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Potamianou, A. (2017). Revisiting the Destiny Compulsion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(1):55-69.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(1):55-69

Revisiting the Destiny Compulsion

Anna Potamianou

(Accepted for publication 29 March 2016)

This paper is an attempt to deal with some questions raised by the so-called ‘compulsion of destiny’ constellation. In presenting the standpoints of Freud and of psychoanalysts who after him were concerned with this problematic, the author takes the view that several aspects of the configuration merit further discussion. Accordingly, the dynamics of repetition compulsion, the complexity of the projective strategy, the coexistence of passive and omnipotent trends are considered. Concerning compulsive repetitions the dimension of drive intrication is underlined, thus moderating the understanding of this clinical entity as mainly related to death drive trends. Projection is understood as serving complex psychic demands. The coexistence of passive and omnipotent trends is envisaged, as manifested in phantasies of submission / participation of patients to a force that exceeds human limitations. For certain cases the consonance of somatic and psychic experiences is noted. Finally, elements from the material of two cases are presented which pertain to the problematic of the compulsion of destiny in which random events are submitted to heavy psychic necessities.

[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.]

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