The Triumphant Victim: A Psychoanalytical Perspective on Sadomasochism and Perverse Thinking

The Triumphant Victim: A Psychoanalytical Perspective on Sadomasochism and Perverse Thinking

by J.F. Miller


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The Triumphant Victim: A Psychoanalytical Perspective on Sadomasochism and Perverse Thinking by J.F. Miller

Most people have some idea of the meaning of the words sadism and masochism, but for few people does their understanding go beyond rather vague ideas such as inflicting, or enjoying pain. Even fewer people ask themselves what is behind such behavior, and this applies even to healthcare professionals and therapists. In non-technical language, accessible both for the professional and layman, this book gives a clear picture of the underlying pathology of sado-masochism, its effects, and how it can be treated. It also examines other key, psychological, defence mechanisms—such as hysteria and projective identification—and looks at their relationship to sado-masochism.

The author draws on many years working with children and families in education, as well as nearly 30 years of analytical practice, to give insight into the underlying dynamics. From his clinical experience, he has come to the conclusion that sadomasochistic pathology is a far more widespread and serious problem than is generally recognized. The book uses detailed case material to examine the way in which the problem interferes with relationships and emotional growth in the individual’s everyday life, and how this has profound effects on society as a whole.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780490571
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 09/28/2013
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

J. F. Miller is an analyst, psychotherapist, and child and family psychologist. He was educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and St Catherine’s College, Oxford, with postgraduate training in educational psychology at the Tavistock Clinic. He has held teaching posts in primary, secondary, and special education. He is County Psychologist to West Oxfordshire and has created and worked in various consultancy posts to special schools and hostels in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire. He has also consultant and residential social worker experience in Belgium, France, and Norway.

Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION: The human context and the developmental imperative
CHAPTER ONE: Control and helplessness
CHAPTER TWO: The core problem: from subversion to perversion
CHAPTER THREE: Infantile and adult sexuality
CHAPTER FOUR: Mothering and the parental couple
CHAPTER FIVE: Pornography and masturbation: the virtual world
CHAPTER SIX: The avoidance of feeling
CHAPTER SEVEN: Projective identification and the claustrum
CHAPTER EIGHT: Sexuality and perversion
CHAPTER NINE: Masochism and the emotional orphan
CHAPTER TEN: Romantic agony
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Hysteria and sadomasochism
CHAPTER TWELVE: Exhibitionism and voyeurism

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Symbolisation and concrete thinking
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Basic assumption thinking and tribal mentality
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Perversely religious and religiously perverse
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Evangelical atheism
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Feminism and the phallic Trojan horse
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: A child is being murdered
CHAPTER NINETEEN: The everlasting baby and the parasite
CHAPTER TWENTY: From victim and blame to a saner society

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: Abigail: survival through invisibility
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: Judy and Maria: vendettas against the parent/analyst
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: Damien: student drop-out and would-be professional psychiatric patient
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: Kelly: a case of courage in the face of perversity
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: Mark: the battered husband
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: Peter and Jim: the black hole of the psyche


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