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Shoshani, M. Shoshani, B. (2016). Do I Dare to Be Human? The Perverse Failure to Mourn, to Think, and to Love. Psychoanal. Rev., 103(3):371-395.

(2016). Psychoanalytic Review, 103(3):371-395

Do I Dare to Be Human? The Perverse Failure to Mourn, to Think, and to Love

Michael Shoshani, PsyD and Batya Shoshani, Ph.D.

The authors discuss the relation between perverse psychic formations and the ability to develop a mind of one's own. The authors characterize the formation of perversity in terms of failure to develop the key capacities of thinking, mourning, and loving. These failures result in the abolishment of thinking and the repudiation of separateness and lead to the creation of different kinds of twisted coalitions, which shape the transference-counter-transference matrix. Persons with perverse psychic organizations have difficulties developing their own minds due to their refusal to acknowledge human limitations and their inability to accept the fundamental differences of human existence: self-other, child-adult, male-female. These characterizations are illustrated by clinical material, including a detailed analytic session, demonstrating the perverse aggresivization and sexualization of the analytic relationship. The role of the analyst is to detoxify the violence and destruction and to translate the language of perversion into the language of love.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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