Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To receive notifications about new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to receive notifications about new content in PEP Web? For more information about this feature, click here

To sign up to PEP Web Alert for weekly emails with new content updates click click here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kaplan, L.J. (1974). The Concept of the Family Romance. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(2):169-202.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(2):169-202

The Concept of the Family Romance

Linda Joan Kaplan


Freud first mentioned the family-romance fantasy in three letters to Fliess written between 1897 and 1898.20 In his brief essay of 190825 on the family romance, Freud went on to amplify the origin, motivation and structure of the fantasy, and in 192028 he included the family romance in his list of primal fantasies. Subsequently the literature has been permeated with references to the family romance by clinicians and theorists who have elaborated or utilized aspects of it in their work. In this essay I endeavor to consolidate the literature of the fantasy and suggest ramifications for further exploration.

The family romance is a universal fantasy used throughout life to help regulate self-esteem. It has its origins in early infancy and becomes fully structured and consciously active during latency. Because the fantasy frequently persists and its derivatives are manifested with such universality, I believe that study of the fantasy can be of clinical value in work with patients of all ages.

Initially, this study will focus on the universal aspects of the family-romance fantasy as they are manifested developmentally and sublimated in everyday life. Then the more pathological manifestations will be explored in relation to etiology, symptomatology, affectual correlates, and defensive character structure.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.