Considering perversion from a Portman Clinic perspective

Campbell, Donald (2021) Considering perversion from a Portman Clinic perspective. In: From Trauma to Harming Others: Therapeutic Work with Delinquent, Violent and Sexually Harmful Children and Young People. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 22-35. ISBN 978-0367415570

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Psychoanalytic thinking about perversion has aroused condemnation from the right of the intellectual and political spectrum, and criticism that we have got it all wrong from gay rights activists and feminist writers. Freud reminds us that none of us can stand in a superior judgemental position in relation to those who suffer from perversions. In this chapter, the author addresses the subject of sadism because the desire to inflict pain upon the sexual object and to have it inflicted upon oneself is, as Freud maintained in the Three Essays, ‘the most common and the most significant of all the perversions’. He focuses particularly on sadism as a solution to primitive anxieties about survival. The author begins with recent and graphic illustrations of violence, which is motivated by a self-preservative instinct, to illustrate its destructiveness and the complex nature of the psychological ingredients that humans depend upon for their survival.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Criminology > Forensic Psychotherapy
Sex Psychology > Perversions
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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