Clinical Case Presentation Fall Symposium, Extension Division New York Psychoanalytic Society, November 23, 1996 the limits of psychoanalysis, impasse, and analyzability: Perspective on analytic failures: Editors' introduction

H. M. Wyman, S. M. Rittenberg, A. Rothstein, S. Coen, J. L. Kantrowitz, L. Hoffman, C. Kleban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In spite of the intensity of the sexual and aggressive fantasies about me, Mr. K was a rewarding patient to work with, because he was largely able to maintain a clear distinction between fantasy and action, and he was responsive to my interpretations. Thus, I had a feeling of joint work. The most striking feature of this case is the history of profound overstimulation by a seductive self-centered mother, who used Mr. K for her own needs. She had made him feel that he was better than the father, would redeem the family honor by his success. Also, he was made to fell that he was more like a girl by his success. Also, he was made to feel that he was more like a girl than a boy, and therefore it was acceptable for the mother to expose herself extensively and sleep in the same bed during his puberty. This led to compulsive masturbation, sexual performance problems, profound inhibitions in self assertiveness, and work inhibitions after a burst of initial success. His striking flight is not passivity or 'going on strike,' as these states came to be called in the analysis, constituted massive defenses against his profound rage at his mother about the overstimulation, having felt so used for her own purposes. He turned this rage against himself by undermining his aims and ambitions as this rage against himself by undermining his aims and ambitions as well as by experiencing depression and psychosomatic symptoms. Mr. K experienced profound competitiveness with his young sister, even more than with his brothers. In this matriarchal family, his envy of girls made him wish to be a girl. Another facet of his wish to be a girl was his defense against the severe castration anxiety mobilized by mother's criticizing father, and praising Mr. K in such a way as to vividly promote his fantasy that he could in fact replace his father, just as he had the vivid fantasy that I might 'give him the signal' for sex anytime. This fantasy interfered with his ability to allow himself to be a success beyond a certain point, as success and independent were fraught with great danger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-410
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychoanalysis
Volume6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

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