Battling the Life and Death Forces of Sadomasochism
Clinical Perspectives

Paper: 978 1 85575 820 9 / $47.95
 
Published: July 2013  

Publisher: Karnac Books
320 pp., 5 3/4" x 9"
Series: CIPS Series on the Boundaries of Psychoanalysis
This book examines the forces of sadomasochism in the clinical domain where transference and countertransference reside. Psychoanalysts write in depth about cases where sadomasochism is present for both analysand and analyst. Four cases present the unfolding analytic exchange where life and death forces collide. Each case is accompanied by three discussions illuminating the complex phenomena that often include lifelong perversions and painful narcissistic difficulties. Through the case presentations and discussions, psychoanalytic therapists will find maps for guiding their own work with sadomasochistic processes. Treatments where sadomasochism is prominent abound with dramas containing control and denigration, domination, and submission. Often there is a history of over stimulation and under stimulation from infancy and childhood influencing the formation of object relations and unconscious fantasy.

Since Freud first introduced the concepts of component instincts and psychosexual development, psychoanalysts have been exploring sadomasochism in its various forms. The belief that togetherness involves tormenting pain creates a sense of life and death struggle that is imbued with powerful instinctual gratification. Unconscious sexualized scenes of both dyadic and triadic forms carry humiliation and conquest. These analysands employ a variety of defenses, especially disavowal. The analyst's affective responses to the negation and attacks provide an opportunity to recognize conflicts and repetitions, and to move them into a symbolizing process. Contributions to the book come from a variety of psychoanalytic perspectives. Understanding of these sadomasochistic phenomena highlight psychoanalytic thinking about conflict, instinctual life, object relations, trauma, narcissistic vulnerability, primitive states, and perversion.

Table of Contents:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT THE EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
SERIES EDITOR’S PREFACE

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction to sadomasochism in the clinical realm, Harriet I. Basseches, Paula L. Ellman and Nancy R. Goodman
CHAPTER TWO: Intersecting forces and development of sadomasochism, Paula L. Ellman and Nancy R. Goodman

PART I: CASE PRESENTED BY PAULA L. ELLMAN AND DISCUSSIONS
CHAPTER THREE: Sadomasochism in work and play with Diane, Paula L. Ellman
CHAPTER FOUR: Discussion of the case of Diane, Alan Bass
CHAPTER FIVE: Discussion of the case of Diane, Jack Novick and Kerry Kelly Novick
CHAPTER SIX: Diane vs. reality: unconscious fantasies at impasse? discussion of the case of Diane, Marianne Robinson

PART II: CASE PRESENTED BY NANCY R. GOODMAN AND DISCUSSIONS
CHAPTER SEVEN: Sailing with Mr. B through waters of “hurting love”, Nancy R. Goodman
CHAPTER EIGHT: Discussion of the case of Mr. B, James S. Grotstein
CHAPTER NINE: Discussion of the case of Mr. B, Margaret Ann Hanly
CHAPTER TEN: Discussion of the case of Mr. B, Terrence McBride

PART III: CASE PRESENTED BY ANDREA GREENMAN AND DISCUSSIONS
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Eating for emptiness, eating to kill: sadomasochism in a woman with bulimia, Andrea Greenman
CHAPTER TWELVE: Discussion of the case of Mariah, Steven Ellman
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Discussion of the case of Mariah, Shelley Rockwell
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Trauma, archaic superego, and sadomasochism: discussion of the case of Mariah, Léon Wurmser

PART IV: CASE PRESENTED BY RICHARD REICHBART AND DISCUSSIONS
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The primitive superego of Mr. A: sadistic revenge fantasies, arousal and then masochistic remorse, Richard Reichbart
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Discussion of the case of Mr. A, Sheldon Bach
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Discussion of the case of Mr. A, Harriet I. Basseches
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Sadomasochism and aggression—clinical theory: discussion of the case of Mr. A, Leo Rangell

INDEX



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