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(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. IX, 1961: A Note on Trauma and Loss. William F. Murphy. Pp. 519-532.. Psychoanal Q., 31:419-420.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. IX, 1961: A Note on Trauma and Loss. William F. Murphy. Pp. 519-532.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:419-420

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. IX, 1961: A Note on Trauma and Loss. William F. Murphy. Pp. 519-532.

According to the author, a trauma serves a defensive screening function. Following the summation of many fantasied traumas, which are screens for old unresolved narcissistic injuries, a susceptibility to the development of a major traumatic event sets in. Such an event is actually an externalized internal conflict, and has an effect comparable to acting out. It protects the individual against severe regression or disintegration by aiding the ego in the establishment of a phobic type of defense and bolstering the mechanisms of denial, dissociation, and avoidance.

With detailed accounts of three cases, Murphy demonstrates that the relation

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of traumas and traumatic neurosis to external catastrophic events is an artificial one, and that even in these cases the accumulation or summation of a series of losses and narcissistic injuries is of primary etiological importance. He demonstrates also that the need for a trauma screen in certain individuals can create a trauma in a dream or fantasy. Furthermore, in many patients, a series of manifest traumas is associated with a parallel series of underlying hidden losses and narcissistic injuries.

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Article Citation

(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. IX, 1961. Psychoanal. Q., 31:419-420

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