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(1962). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 31:305-306.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:305-306

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York


Dr. Corbin discussed the role of muscle action as a regressive form of communication substituting for verbalization, in a twenty-three-year-old patient's relations to her child and to her analyst. The patient suffered from trembling hands, muscle spasms in her chest and legs, and pharyngeal spasms. She frequently assumed a masculine posture in intercourse, accompanied by fantasies of destroying her husband's penis by contractions of her vaginal musculature.

Most of the material presented came from a study of the effects of the patient's muscular behavior on her children, as reported in her analysis. She felt that her tense, tight holding of her infant made him cry after a few minutes at the breast. This symptom in the child was cured when analysis revealed that she was erotically stimulated during the nursing, and had unconscious fantasies in which her breasts were equated with penetrating penises. Further difficulties occurred during bowel training of the child. Her identification with him in his anal-erotic pleasure in stool retention was communicated to the child by way of her teasing presence near the toilet and her overzealous wiping of the boy's anus. After her intense anal-erotic fixations were analyzed the child's training was easily accomplished. Anal-erotic stimulations between the patient and her father were communicated to her child by action rather than verbalization.

The patient used words poorly, talked softly, and was often silent. In analysis, talking inaudibly and ramblingly was a defense against free association. Many oralsadistic fantasies appeared in the transference.

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