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Shapiro, E.R. (2004). Discussion of Ernst Prelinger's “Thoughts on Hate and Aggression”. Psychoanal. St. Child, 59:44-51.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 59:44-51

Discussion of Ernst Prelinger's “Thoughts on Hate and Aggression”

Edward R. Shapiro, M.D.

The author suggests that hatred may be a narcissistic phenomenon, a transformation of “I need someone I can't have” into “I hate this person whom I now irrationally completely understand, feel contempt for and must destroy.” This transformation removes the other as potentially available for learning and attachment and transforms a potential relationship into an impermeable barrier. It may be the result of an unconscious identification with a parent experienced as prematurely and pathologically certain about the child's experience. The therapist's premature interpretations or limit setting can evoke this negative transference. The patient's recreation of the hated narcissistic object in the transference requires the therapist to undergo an empathic regression in order to identify with the patient's projections. Interpretation of the patient's hatred requires the therapist to discover and tolerate the kernel of truth behind the negative transference and an ability in role to survive this identification with a hated object.

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