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Peyser, E.R. (1994). The Trauma of Transgression. Psychotherapy of Incest Victims: Edited by Selma Kramer, M.D. and Salman Akhtar, M.D. Northvale, NJ/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1991. 186 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:370-373.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:370-373

The Trauma of Transgression. Psychotherapy of Incest Victims: Edited by Selma Kramer, M.D. and Salman Akhtar, M.D. Northvale, NJ/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1991. 186 pp.

Review by:
Ellen R. Peyser

Our work with patients who have experienced incest has made many of us aware of the need to re-explore the ways in which childhood trauma and developmental disturbance contribute to pathogenesis and affect personality development. We have taken up again the clinical investigation of the psychological consequences of an experience. The Trauma of Transgression is an excellent and much needed contribution to our understanding of incest as it affects each of the participants. The authors include eminent pioneers in the study of childhood sexual abuse. The chapters originated as papers presented at the Twenty-First Margaret S. Mahler Symposium on Child Development, and the book has preserved the format of an academic dialogue with a discussant. The book's emphasis is on incest as it interacts with developmental sequences and psychic structure formation. The authors ask: What leads an adult and child to incest? How common is it? If it is more common than we thought, why haven't we seen it or recognized it in our consulting rooms? When we recognize it, how do we best treat those who have experienced it?

We are at a new beginning in our investigation of these patients and of others who have experienced trauma.

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