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Arvanitakis, K. (1985). 'The Third Soter who Ordaineth All'. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 12:431-439.

(1985). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 12:431-439

'The Third Soter who Ordaineth All'

K. Arvanitakis


An examination of Aeschylus' Eumenides and clinical material from the treatment of a young schizophrenic man have been used to support the view that, as a means of dealing with the overwhelming anxieties inherent in the mother–infant dual unity, a triangulation is effectuated through the introduction of 'father'. It is postulated that 'father' is introduced, first, as a joint creation in the potential space between the mother and her infant. This triangulation, which protects against annihilation-disintegration fears, forms the basis of symbolic thought which will permit a transformation of the archaic anxieties. It is argued that failure of this process to evolve adequately may eventuate in disturbances of symbolization and a predisposition to psychotic states.

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