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Gillman, R.D. (1994). Narcissistic Defense and Learning Inhibition. Psychoanal. St. Child, 49:175-189.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 49:175-189

Narcissistic Defense and Learning Inhibition

Robert D. Gillman, M.D.

This paper presents the case of a gifted scientist, Mr. A, whose inhibitions prevented him from doing creative work. He could learn only when he grasped the material immediately; protracted study was painful and humiliating. The analysis revealed that his early narcissistic grandiosity, engendered by his precocity and parental admiration, persisted through the oedipal phase and then became organized in his character, defending against competitive feelings and castration anxiety. In the analysis, resolution of his oedipal conflicts, both positive and negative, went hand in hand with his relinquishing the narcissistic defenses, which freed him to work creatively. The case elucidates one aspect of work-study difficulties in children.

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