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(1962). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Symposium on Psychotic Object Relationships. Serge Lebovici; Rene Diatkine; Margaret S. Mahler; Decios S. DeSouza. Pp. 540-558.. Psychoanal Q., 31:123.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Symposium on Psychotic Object Relationships. Serge Lebovici; Rene Diatkine; Margaret S. Mahler; Decios S. DeSouza. Pp. 540-558.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:123

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Symposium on Psychotic Object Relationships. Serge Lebovici; Rene Diatkine; Margaret S. Mahler; Decios S. DeSouza. Pp. 540-558.

Lebovici presents fragments from the analyses of a psychotic child and his mother. The psychopathological structures of each are compared and the partial incorporation of the mother's into the psychic structure of the child is shown. The author, however, does not depreciate the importance of phenomena impeding maturation and ego development in the psychotic.

Diatkine discusses the formation of psychotic object relationships in infancy. Catamnesic studies combined with psychoanalytic treatment of young children suffering from severe ego disturbances are described. The author disagrees with the Kleinian concept of the early development of the relationship to objects. He feels that fantasies concerning objects are elaborated in later years and do not give a valid picture of the processes in the first year of life. Object relationships are better conceptualized as the warping of instinctual mechanisms without psychological awareness of objects.

Mahler describes, with a few clinical illustrations, mechanisms of defensive regression in which the blurring of intellectual and affective discrimination of the human object world from the inanimate environment occurs. Since, in these cases, impulses are perceived as impelling commands whose aggressivity threatens the disintegrating psychotic ego, the dehumanization of objects acts as a defense against the perception of reality and the demands of the superego.

DeSouza discusses the case of a three-year-old schizophrenic girl who developed symptoms after the birth of a sister. Using the concepts of Melanie Klein, he attributes the child's regression to an inability to work through the depressive situation occasioned by the arrival of a sibling. This inability seemed to be connected with traumatic fixations at the paranoid-schizoid level caused by premature weaning in the first month of life.

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Article Citation

(1962). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960. Psychoanal. Q., 31:123

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