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Herzog, J.M. (2005). Triadic Reality and the Capacity to Love. Psychoanal Q., 74(4):1029-1052.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(4):1029-1052

Triadic Reality and the Capacity to Love

James M. Herzog, M.D.

The author describes the concept of triadic reality, which he sees as a necessary prerequisite to healthy negotiation of the oedipal phase. Without positive representations of both parents individually—and, significantly, of both parents together in relation to the child—the child is hampered in her efforts to achieve a sense of triadic reality, resulting in difficulties in self representation and in object choice, as well as a limited capacity to love.

A detailed case report is presented, highlighting relevant aspects of the author's work with a patient named Marielena.

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