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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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(1934). Perversionen, Psychosen, Charakterstörungen. By Otto Fenichel. International Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Wien.. Psychoanal. Rev., 21(4):474-475.

(1934). Psychoanalytic Review, 21(4):474-475

Perversionen, Psychosen, Charakterstörungen. By Otto Fenichel. International Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Wien.

Dr. Fenichel here continues his original and striking discussion of a special psychoanalytic approach to the neurosis problem in this volume on Perversions, Psychoses and Character Disorders.

In a short introduction he points out that the findings of psychoanalysis in these particular fields cannot be considered as satisfactory as in those of the transference neuroses. The practicing analyst, and such alone have any adequate insight into the problems involved, is well aware of the force of the resistances in the types here dealt with, particularly in the narcissistic neuroses, using this term in the Freudian sense.

Fenichel very intriguingly points out that the perversions constitute an interesting intermediary zone between these fields which have been heretofore roughly segregated on the basis of the depth of the regression and the nature of the object fixation. The perversions are highly probable to be recognized as object fixated at pregenital stages, but they are to be separated from the pregenital transference neuroses, such as the compulsion neurosis, and yet are at the same time to be kept apart from the psychoses. The author is very clear as to the fallacy of erecting exact boundary lines in this complicated region, realizing the interlocking nature of many reaction compromises. The perversions can best be regarded as anomalies of development of the psychosexual patterning. But in what does the anomaly consist? Is it a remaining at more infantile levels or are other factors of significance? There is a group of the former in which the polymorphous sexual perverse patterns of the infantile life persist. But the majority of the ‘perverse’ tend to concentrate upon a more limited type of erotic activity. Fenichel's discussion of the possibilities, the understanding and the causality of these situations is very thorough and enlightening to the practising analyst. The book reading psychoanalyst may partly know the meaning of the words used but cannot possibly understand the dynamics of the situations.


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