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ERIC Number: ED314681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Masochistic Personality: Dynamics and Treatment Techniques.
Pestrak, Victor A.
There is currently a strong interest in brief psychodynamic therapy. Therapists adopting this approach need to become familiar with different character or personality styles. The psychodynamic therapist who understands and works in conjunction with the client's particular character style will be able to establish a therapeutic relationship more quickly and progress with the client at the most appropriate and efficient pace. Individuals with a masochistic personality are both very common and very frustrating to work with in psychotherapy. The concept of masochism has been addressed regularly in the literature beginning with Krafft-Ebing and Freud. Masochism can best be thought of as a self-defeating way of loving. Due to their seemingly contradictory dynamics, masochistic clients are challenging in therapy, appearing overtly pleasing and self-sacrificing but remaining inwardly ambivalent, angry, and willful. The masochistic individual does not enjoy pain but seeks it out for the important functions it serves. Treating the masochistic client can be both challenging and frustrating. Therapists need to take the position of caretaker while allowing the masochistic client to practice autonomy. The therapist needs to combine support with caring confrontation. The therapist should help masochistic clients to become more realistic, teaching them that they can be loved without having to suffer. Thirty-one references are attached. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A