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Soavi, G.C. (1993). Rigidness of Expectations and Fear of Disintegration. Rivista Psicoanal., 39(1):101-111.

(1993). Rivista di Psicoanalisi, 39(1):101-111

Rigidness of Expectations and Fear of Disintegration

Giulio Cesare Soavi

Brief introduction

Psychoanalytical research is devoting increasing attention to how the self is structured, and in particular to its deficiencies and to the causes of defective functioning, and how these may be repaired through analysis. This enquiry focuses upon just one of the many ways in which the self's fragility is made manifest.

The theme of rigid expectations can hardly be considered to be a completely new one, but as far as I know it has only been dealt with marginally until now. For once, I intend to make it the principle object of scrutiny. In a reference to Kohut (1971), Basch (1991) makes the following remark: “Because Miss F. (one of Kohut's patients) had a severe damage to the emergent sense of self, the basic rhythm eluded her. She could not tolerate anything being other than she imagined a particular thing needed to be”.

Some of our patients have a very limited capacity for extracting gratifying elements from the situations they find themselves in. These are often situations which could be considered pleasurable, but which they are incapable of turning to their own advantage.

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