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Esman, A.H. (1987). Rescue Fantasies. Psychoanal Q., 56:263-270.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:263-270

Rescue Fantasies

Aaron H. Esman, M.D.


The concept of "rescue fantasy" is examined as it has evolved since Freud introduced it in 1910. Originally designating the wish in certain men to rescue "fallen women," the term has more recently come to refer primarily to the therapist's conscious or unconscious aims with regard to his patient, particularly in the context of child analysis or therapy. The varying drive elements and defensive operations at work in this compromise formation are discussed, and some recent sociocultural influences and analogues are suggested.

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