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Robertiello, R.C. (1964-65). Clinical Notes. Psychoanal. Rev., 51D(4):130-132.

(1964-65). Psychoanalytic Review, 51D(4):130-132

Clinical Notes

Richard C. Robertiello, M.D.

Results of Separation from Iposexual Parents During The Oedipal Period

The author has had the opportunity to observe a number of patients who have the history of separation from the parent of the same sex between the ages of four and seven. This separation may have resulted from death, divorce, desertion, severe illness or other eventuality. These patients vary, of course, in their degree of pathology and their diagnosis, both of which are dependent upon many factors. However, they appear to share certain common characteristics. There is a tendency to be unassertive, passive, shy and retiring. The patients have strong defenses or reaction formations against any expression of hostility. There are marked feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, a very harsh conscience and an exaggerated sense of guilt. Additionally, there is a strong inclination to suppress sexual feeling and interest.

The dynamics underlying these developments emerge quite clearly in the analyses of the patients. During the Oedipal period there are strong feelings of sexual attraction to the parent of the opposite sex. Along with this are hostile feelings toward the parent of the same sex, who is viewed as a rival who must be eliminated. When the parent of the same sex leaves the home, the child feels his unconscious wish has brought about the separation.

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