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(1981). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 50:156-157.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 50:156-157

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

October 16, 1979. THE ORAL DRIVE, CLINGING, AND EQUILIBRIUM. Lester Friedman, M.D.

Dr. Friedman described the various symptoms of disequilibrium (dizziness, lightheadedness, etc.) as observed in patients in analysis. He reviewed the theories relating such phenomena to sexual excitement, regression to preoedipal states (Isakower), and other explanations and then offered one of his own: under certain circumstances there can be a revival of the disequilibratory aspect of the experience of abrupt interruption of nursing, which entails interruption not only of oral gratification but also of the associated clinging to the maternal object. He described the close genetic relationship between sucking and clinging, with the object of demonstrating the linkage between sucking, clinging, and disequilibratory symptoms in response to the movements attendant upon being removed (especially suddenly) from the feeding situation. He then cited a detailed clinical example of disequilibrium arising in an analysand when regular attendance at sessions was interrupted by the analyst's canceling two sessions. The disequilibrium occurred when the analyst interpreted the patient's defensive acting out as an effort to avoid experiencing the analyst as abandoning him. The patient had many memories of separations from his mother early in life and of turning to his father for contact. There was much evidence of the patient's disappointment with his mother as someone he could not cling to. Dr. Friedman described his belief that the form of the symptom and its context support the hypothesis that, under the impact of the transference, there had been a revival of the disequilibratory aspect of actual experiences of abruptly interrupted feeding-clinging in infancy.

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