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Shengold, L. (2000). Is There Life Without Mother?. Psychoanal Q., 69(3):445-464.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 69(3):445-464

Is There Life Without Mother?

Leonard Shengold, M.D.

Clinical and literary materials are presented to illustrate the compulsive need some children (frequently abused and/or deprived ones) continue to feel as they grow up for submission to and identification with the earliest parental figure. Intrapsychic loss is threatened by intense murderous hatred felt toward a parent without whom the child's survival is not possible. Conflicts over sadomasochistic fantasy, feeling, and action are used to hold on to the parent within and without the mind, and these can dominate the child's life.

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