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Soul murder : the effects of childhood abuse and deprivation

Author: Leonard Shengold
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©1989.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
To abuse or neglect a child, to deprive the child of a separate identity and joy in life, is to commit soul murder. Children desperately need to maintain a mental image of a loving and rescuing parent. Torture and deprivation under conditions of complete dependency elicit a terrifying combination of helplessness and rage- feelings that the child must supress in order to survive. The child therefore denies or  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Leonard Shengold
ISBN: 0300045220 9780300045222
OCLC Number: 19324183
Description: viii, 342 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Aspects of soul murder --
Brainwashing and the defensive consequences of psychic murder --
Did it really happen? : an assault on truth, historical and narrative --
The parent as Sphinx --
Soul murder, rats, and 1984 --
Rat people --
Clinical and literary examples of rat people --
Autohypnosis : hypnotic evasion, autohypnotic vigilance, and hypnotic facilitation --
A case of incest between mother and adolescent son --
Dickens, Little Dorrit, and soul murder --
Sanity and paranoia : the cases of Chekhov and Schreber --
An attempt at soul murder : Kipling's early life and work --
Insight as metaphor --
Two clinical sidelights : quasi-delusions and the enforcement of isolation --
Perspective and technical considerations.
Other Titles: Effects of childhood abuse and deprivation
Responsibility: Leonard Shengold.

Abstract:

To abuse or neglect a child, to deprive the child of a separate identity and joy in life, is to commit soul murder. Children desperately need to maintain a mental image of a loving and rescuing parent. Torture and deprivation under conditions of complete dependency elicit a terrifying combination of helplessness and rage- feelings that the child must supress in order to survive. The child therefore denies or justifies what has happened, deadens emotions, identifies with the aggressor, and even takes on the guilt that is appropriate to the tormentor. In this book, Dr. Shengold explores various forms of child abuse and deprivation and the resulting psychological trauma that often surface when the victims reach adulthood. He also describes the abuse suffered by four famous authors when they were children and shows how this ill treatment is reflected in their writing. Discussing both his own cases and some of Freud's, Dr. Shengold clarifies the pathogenesis of soul murder and the psychoanalytic techniques used to deal with it. He supports and elaborates on the frequent observation that those who have been abused as children tend to abuse their own children, experiencing sadomasochistic impulses and a susceptibility to terrible rage as well as a compulsion to repeat the traumatic experiences- both as victim and as aggressor. One optimistic note that Dr. Shengold strikes in this saga of pain is that a terrible childhood sometimes strengthens a person. To survive and adjust, he says, some children develop special gifts and talents; these are demonstrated by his analysis of the early lives and literary works of Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Anton Chekhov, and George Orwell. -- from Book Jacket.

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