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Klavens, G.S. (1987). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East. Psychoanal Q., 56:606-607.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:606-607

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East

George S. Klavens

DISCUSSION: Dr. Jerome Sashin wondered what the patient had been like as a young child, since gender identity issues usually surface long before age eight, at which time the incest had begun. The response was that the patient had been described as happy, appeared so in family pictures, and seemed to have had a sense of herself as a girl. Dr. Evelyne Schwaber noted that it had been the mother's (female) body that was sick, and she wondered about the impact of this fact upon the patient's developing female identity. In addition, the mother had been unavailable: she had left her infant for two months to go on a trip with her husband. Dr. George Klavens suggested that, for the patient, the impact of the mother's psychological malignancy may have been greater than that of the physical malignancy, for both mother and father had been unable to bear the terrible affective experience and had resorted to action to leave danger and death behind. Dr. Rolde agreed, but felt it important to recognize the role of the father later on in the development and persistence of the patient's bisexuality. Dr. Robert Pyles noted that the child found safety with neither parent and that the bisexuality represented a compromise formation: it provided gratification from one side and protection from the other; the analyst was the first non-narcissistic, dependable, protective object. Finally, Dr.

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